Michael Grimm Says 'Cardinal Dolan Would Have My Vote' for Pope

Cardinal Dolan (Photo: Getty)

Cardinal Dolan (Photo: Getty)

Earlier today, Pope Benedict XVI surprisingly announced his abidcation–the first time a Pope has stepped down since 1415–setting the stage for the dramatic process of electing a new Vatican leader. And, although Congressman Michael Grimm doesn’t get a vote in that select process, the Staten Island lawmaker wants everyone to know he’s backing New York’s own Cardinal Timothy Dolan for the holy vocation.

“It is too early to determine the full extent of Pope Benedict’s legacy; however, New Yorkers will never forget the gift he gave us with the elevation of Cardinal Dolan,” Mr. Grimm announced in a statement. “Cardinal Dolan has lifted the spirits of Catholics and non-Catholics throughout New York and the world, and renewed the faith of many. If it were up to me to pick the next pope, Cardinal Dolan would have my vote!”

Mr. Grimm, who is Catholic, additionally praised Pope Benedict’s unusual decision to step down, calling it “a sign of a great leader.”

“Like most Catholics throughout the world, I was surprised and saddened to hear the news of Pope Benedict’s resignation. For seven years, he served honorably as our holy pontiff – seeking to reawaken Christianity throughout the world,” he said. “One sign of a great leader is knowing when to step down. While we are shocked by this news, I commend Pope Benedict for putting the future of the Catholic Church before all else, and today I join Catholics around the world in praying for his health and well-being.”

For his part, Cardinal Dolan–who was only elevated to his current position last year–said it would be “highly improbable”  that he would be considered for the papacy.