1.) What lead you to join the priesthood? I always wanted to be a priest. Priests were highly regarded in my family and it was thought to be a great gift to have a priest in the family.
2.) Did you ever considering another career path? I never really considered doing anything other than being a priest, although I also found teaching to be very attractive. The ideal would have been to be a priest whose main ministry was teaching. Things didn't work out that way.
3.) What is your favorite part of the job of Archbishop? Presiding at liturgy and preaching.
4.) What is the one misconception most people have about the Catholic church? That the Church has limitless financial resources and that all Catholics march in lock step together.
5.) What is the most pressing issue facing the Catholic church today? Secularism, i.e., the mind set that holds that the here and the now are the most important and that anything other than what is in our present world is basically irrelevant.
6.) You've written at least 10 books on the Catholic religion. What is the best book you've ever read? The Bible, of course. Other books that I have found important in my life are the Iliad, the Oddysey, and Vergil's Georgics.
7.) You've met with the current Pontiff, Pope Benedict the 16th. What was your impression of him? I met with Benedict XVI several times when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. I have not met with him since he became Pope. I always found him to be thoughtful, kindly, and attentive. He is easy to be with.
8.) The Vatican recently made news by releasing a "The Driver's 10 Commandments." Why did the church feel it was necessary to make these suggestions to drivers? The Church teaches on all sorts of subjects. It holds nothing human to be beyond its sphere of interest. Since most of us spend a significant amount of time driving, and since every human activity has a moral dimension, it is not inappropriate for the Church to teach about driving. I haven't had a chance to study the document yet.
9.) What would you say to someone who questions whether God exists? If God doesn't exist, nothing else makes much sense, nothing else is very important. Without God there is ultimately no rationale for anything.
10.) What one question would you like to ask of God? Why do you love us so much?
11.) There are a whole host of summer church festivals going on in the Tri-State. Do you ever attend any and what is your favorite church festival activity? Early on I decided that I must either try to attend every church festival or not attend any. I didn't want to be accused of favoritism. I took the second option. A lay friend of mine and his wife make it a point to attend one or two church festivals every week-end. I admire their dedication.
12.) What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to play Scrabble and I like to read history and biography. As I grow older I find that I have less energy and therefore less spare time .