According to an article in today's New York Post, Mayor de Blasio met with Timothy Cardinal Dolan on Monday at the cardinal's residence behind St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was the mayor's first meeting with Cardinal Dolan since becoming mayor of New York City. De Blasio seems to be a fan of Pope Francis calling his voice, "the most powerful voice on this earth on inequality." Apparently both the mayor and Cardinal Dolan are hoping that the popular Pope will visit the "Big Apple," sometime in the future, which both men say would be a big blessing for the city.
I attended Papal Masses when Pope John Paul II visited NYC in 1979 and again in 1995. How fortunate I was to attend two papal masses in NYC, one at Shea Stadium (1979) and the other at Aqueduct Raceway (1995). When Pope Benedict came to New York in 2008 I attended the Departing Ceremony at Kennedy Airport. All of those religious events were amazing and yes, filled with many blessings.
The mayor was baptized Catholic and raised Catholic by his Italian family but he has fallen away. He now considers himself "spiritual" but he is not practicing any particular religion. So where are the evangelizers in NYC, seems like the mayor could use some evangelization?
Perhaps if Pope Francis comes to New York then Bill de Blasio will be so moved by his presence that he will return to his Catholic roots. Or perhaps Cardinal Dolan can encourage him to return to the faith he was baptized into.
It is good that the new mayor and the Cardinal have met. It seems they have a lot in common when it comes to subjects such as affordable housing, the work of Catholic Charities and fighting inequality. They should keep the conversation going.
And it's my fervent hope that at some point, working closely with the Cardinal, we'll have the opportunity to bring Pope Francis to New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio