NEW YORK, March 22, 2011 ( – USCCB President and New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan has never shrunk from his vigorous defense of the unborn and of marriage between one man and one woman, but don’t call him “right wing.”

For Dolan, being a good shepherd of the faithful by upholding Catholic Church teaching has nothing to do with the political right or left.

“No question that you’re conciliatory, that you like to have dialogue,” 60 Minutes’ Morley Safer prodded the archbishop in an interview published on Sunday, “but underneath that, you’re an old-fashioned conservative, in the sense of right-wing conservative.”

“I would bristle at being termed ‘right wing’,” Dolan responded.

“But if somebody means enthusiastically committed and grateful for the timeless heritage of the Church, and feeling that my best service is when I try to preserve that and pass that on in its fullness and beauty and radiance, I’m a conservative, no doubt.”

Dolan has become famous for his cheerful attitude while holding the line on some of the toughest battlegrounds in the Church, including abortion, gay “marriage,” birth control, women priests, and priestly celibacy.

“He is easily the most charismatic and high-profile figure on the American Catholic stage,” said National Catholic Reporter Senior Correspondent John Allen in the same segment – which explains how Dolan shot to the top of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last November.

Safer also explored Dolan’s take on the ongoing national clerical sex abuse crisis, the effects of which Dolan was forced to experience intimately at his previous post in Milwaukee.

Regarding the fallout of the scandal, said Dolan, “In some ways, I don’t want it to be over, because this was such a crisis in the Catholic Church that in a way we don’t want to get over it too easily. This needs to haunt us.”

Dolan also denied that ending priestly celibacy would alleviate the scandal because, he said, married men have been shown to be the greatest culprits of sexual abuse.


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