To the editor of THE EAGLE:

James Carroll, a former priest and now a columnist for The Boston Globe, attempts to interpret the direction Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church (Eagle, op-ed, Nov. 19). Carroll writes, "Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash. characterized the nuncio’s message for The New York Times: ‘Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors, he doesn’t want ideologues.

Carroll continues, "... in choosing Cardinal Timothy Dolan, one of the fiercest cultural warriors in the hierarchy the bishops escalated their confrontation with the Obama administration; they focused intensely on abortion, contraception and gay marriage as all-trumping questions."

I am blessed to have participated in the Consistory with Pope Benedict when Cardinal Dolan was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2012. Pope Benedict warned American bishops and Catholics that "It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States comes to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness. The sinner is healed by grace but the Church must help the sinner to acknowledge guilt." (Encyclical Letter Veritatus Splendor.)

Carroll’s words characterizing Cardinal Dolan are disrespectful. The cardinal can be found visiting with inmates in prison, laughing with the elderly in nursing homes, encouraging young adults to be close their shepherd in their holy Catholic Church, and occasionally serving breakfast to the poor on city streets. Cardinal Dolan lives the joy of the gospel.

People often thank Cardinal Dolan for giving us Pope Francis. Participating in the conclave that chose Pope Francis is a great blessing that Cardinal Dolan imparts to all.