Dolan Says St. Patrick's Day Mass Will Go On, Calls Decision To Cancel Parade 'Very Prudent'

Sean Adams
March 12, 2020 - 10:54 am
Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan employed a little Irish wit in response to the postponement of New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade due to coronavirus.

"You want to come back for some corn beef and cabbage?" he asked WCBS 880's Sean Adams. "I got tons of it that I won't be using obviously."

He says he understands the decision, which was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday night

"Like everybody else, I’m disappointed, but I sure support the decision," he said. "It wasn’t mine to make, but I appreciate the decision of the committee, and they were backed up by civil officials, and I think it’s very prudent, it’s very circumspect. If we’re gonna err, let’s err on the side of caution, so I’m glad they made the decision." 

Dolan said that his favorite part of the holiday – Mass at the St. Patrick's Cathedral – will go one, although it may be toned down. 

"I don’t know if we need 3,000 people jammed into the cathedral, so it’ll be much smaller, and perhaps less elaborate," he said. 

He hopes that the parade is indeed just postponed, and not canceled.  

"We’ll have to find another feast of an Irish saint, and Lord knows there’s plenty of them, where we could have the parade," he said. 

Instead of the parade, he'll be visiting residents at the St. Patrick's Nursing Home in the Bronx.

"I thought, well if I can’t be with the parade, let me go there," he said. 

He also said that while he hopes that the Archdiocese doesn't have to cancel services, he doesn't want anyone taking unnecessary risk to go to Mass. 

"We’ve talked to a lot of medical professionals, and they tell me, I could help by assuring our elders and those who may be vulnerable that they should not feel guilty if they have to make the tough decision to miss Sunday Mass because the Lord understands, and that’s a good decision."