One voice of support for our troubled gov

As the snow falls and falls…

It’s interesting that just days before Gov. Paterson’s political world started truly collapsing, Archbishop Dolan offered kind words for the guy during a talk with NY1 (which we don’t get up here in the Burbs).

Among other things, Dolan said this:

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I’ve enjoyed the governor very much…We’ve had an exceptionally cordial relationship. I admire him very much personally. He goes out of his way to make sure that he acquaints me with things. He’s been gracious enough on occasion to say maybe “What do you feel about this?” There’s been times when I’ve called him to work on projects of mutual concern. So I hate to see him going through this because he has been a gentleman. I believe his heart is in the right place. But, he’d be the first to admit, these kinds of stories have to take a toll. And so my prayers are with him. In some ways, sometimes you shake your head and say “Boy, I wish we could get ahead with the business of governing and didn’t have all these side stories, these personal things that seem to muddy the waters. On the other hand, there is something to be said for our American way of doing things, that character, integrity, personality, have something to say, and that the American people kind of expect their elected officers — and, by the way, their church leaders; we’re not immune from it — to be people of integrity, of justice, of good character….

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Dolan has a way of putting a positive (or semi-positive) spin on anything, doesn’t he? Remember that Paterson introduced a gay-marriage bill during the week of Dolan’s installation as archbishop, which some saw as politically “inappropriate.”

The archbishop covered a lot of other ground. As Paul Zalonski, who is studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, summarized it on his blog:

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In a NY1 Exclusive interview with NY’s Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan the other day, the Archbishop distinguishes between being welcome to attend events and being honored at publicly sponsored Catholic events. A topic many Catholics are familiar with in recent years, especially at university graduation time. This is question is also on the plate since the St Patrick’s Day Parade is fast approaching at which the gay and lesbian activists normally cause a stir because of perceived anti-Catholic bias toward their lifestyle and then in fall there’s the Al Smith dinner where Catholics and politicos rub shoulders at a high profile dinner. People want to know what and how the Church is going to handle such situations; the Catholics need solid guidance and reasons for belief and hope. The Archbishop is clear that when it comes to faith and the public order people we need (want!) good leadership who live lives with honesty and that the public have an expectation that civil and religious leadership be questioned about their lives. Good governance depends on coherent life. Politically people are asking these questions in light of the recent troubles of NY governor David Paterson, a Catholic and yet pro-abortion, not to mention pro-liberal on all topics.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.