Nearly a thousand people attended “An Evening with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo” January 14 at Congregation Beth Yeshurun and listened as the Cardinal answered questions from Rabbi David Rosen and Father Brendan Cahill about the new Pope, immigration, abortion, and other topics.
The Cardinal charmed the audience with his humorous and candid responses to the questions posed by Rosen, Cahill and members of the audience.
When asked by Rabbi Rosen, “What do you think of this new Pope,” the Cardinal replied “I had the incredible privilege to be in the Conclave that elected Pope Francis,” and proceeded to describe some aspects of that process and then compared Pope Francis to his predecessor, Pope Benedict. While he admired the way Pope Francis has charmed the world, he said, “I like Pope Benedict. He made me a Cardinal!”
He spoke almost reverently of the importance of Jewish-Catholic relations, and said he believed they had come a long way in the past 50 years, but said “We still have a lot of work to do.”
He was most serious about humane immigration reform. He spoke of his father being an immigrant, and of how his father taught him the value of immigrants in this country. “That’s why I’m so committed to immigration reform, “ Cardinal DiNardo said. “To be attentive and alert to the immigrants in our midst is very American,” he added.
The Cardinal, who is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, even answered a question from the audience about whether he is a Steelers or a Texans fan. “I’m a Texans fan,” he said, “except when they play the Steelers.”
The program was made possible by the Lewis and Joan Lowenstein Foundation, and it was the inaugural program of the Lowenstein Lectures of the Anti-Defamation League. Lowenstein Foundation trustee Gerald Zlotnik said “we picked this because we thought maybe this would benefit the public the most and also benefit ADL. We hope it’s going to benefit the whole community.”