Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

“I love to say Mass in a prison. Nobody ever comes late and nobody ever leaves early.” – New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a visit to the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, N.Y., quoted by The New York Times.


  1. There’s something unfunny about such an attempt at humor. It’s easy to say when he can just walk out. It’s like his remark in Rome about taking up a second collection at Mass because of the big crowd. That turns an offering to God into a shakedown. Henny Cardinal Dolan doesn’t always help himself with clowning around. Is he uncomfortable? Perhaps abstain from doing a lounge act, Cardinal, and fast from sophomoric humor.

    • Actually, my husband is an inmate at Shawangunk and they all absolutely loved Cardinal Dolan. His humor and how he put them all at ease is actually one of the comments my husband made about him. They know the situation they are in and he wasn’t being disrespectful at all with joking around with them. I believe his personality and how he relates to others is why he is loved. He seems to be more real and approachable. Sometimes it is good to use humor in what some would consider a negative situation to create a moment of laughter and smiles.

  2. Continually amazes me how highly educated and supposedly intelligent people can show an extreme lack of common sense! What on earth does the Catholic Church use as criteria when promoting clergy?