Remember how in middle school, you were the prettiest and the most popular cheerleader,and a lock for Prom Queen, until one day, out of the blue, another girl transferred in, and suddenly she swept it all away? Well, welcome to the bittersweet, where-did-it-all-go world of New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Just a few short years ago, Cardinal Dolan had it all. He liked to think of himself as not just wise and beloved, but wisecracking and jolly, and on the fast track to either becoming Pope, or the natural successor to Leno. He’d josh about his weight and baseball, and his inner evil would only emerge occasionally, as when he shrieked invective at Governor Cuomo for championing gay marriage, claiming he felt “burned” and “blindsided.” Because after all, shouldn’t every New York citizen be ruled by the Cardinal’s whim?
But then along came Pope Francis, or, as Cardinal Dolan refers to him in private, “that conniving little bitch.” Pope Francis not only gave the church a more open and accepting image, he encouraged his priests to stop spending money on luxurious estates and limos, and spend more time ministering to the poor. As Cardinal Dolan could be heard, muttering under his breath during Mass, “As if!” After all. Cardinal Dolan lives in a Madison Avenue mansion, where he’s tended to by a cook, a housekeeper and a driver. As his closest American advisor, Pope Francis has now selected Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a Franciscan in robes and sandals who speaks fluent Spanish. “Dear Lord,” Cardinal Dolan was overheard murmuring on Easter Sunday, “Sandals? With what, black nylon socks?”
Pat McNamara, a church historian, told the NY Times, regarding Cardinal Dolan, “He’s not out in the cold, but neither is he the rising star anymore.” Christopher Belitto, a Papal historian, told the Times that while Dolan is, “not doing a massive overhaul of his personality”, he is “giving himself a bit of a tuneup.” When the Cardinal was asked, on Meet The Press, about how he felt about Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay football player in the NFL, he replied, “Good for him”, through gritted teeth.
Cardinal Dolan, it is believed, now keeps a notecard with him at all times, to remind him of how to behave. His new commandments include:
1. When you’re talking about a homosexual or a woman who uses birth control, and you’re about to use the word “antichrist”, switch to “person.”
2. When you accidentally step outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the annual Gay Pride parade, instead of holding out a crucifix and chanting, “Shame! Shame!”, simply smile, wave and call out, “I love your leather harness!” or “Nice Speedo!”
3. Whenever you’re asked about your stance on abortion, reply, “Did you say ‘vacation’? I don’t take vacations! Too much to do! Why, just this morning, I took a poor person to Dunkin Donuts and bought him a whole box of donut holes!”
4. When you’re caught window shopping at Tiffany’s, just say, “Look at those gorgeous emerald earrings! Wouldn’t they look marvelous on a disabled child, or a Protestant?”
5. If a journalist asks how you feel, about Pope Francis ignoring you in favor of other clergymen, simply say, “I love His Holiness and I respect his judgement in all matters.” Avoid using the words “drab”, “jowls” and “fat.”