New cardinal's ring is too tight after pasta indulgence during Vatican trip
Feb 29, 2012
Tight ring makes him vow: Basta la pasta
ROME — Turns out Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s ring is too tight — or has his finger just gotten fatter?
A day after he was made a cardinal, Dolan revealed yesterday that he has yet to take off the ring the pope slipped on his finger because he can’t — and it could be because of all the Italian food he’s eaten.
“It’s a little too small,” he told The Post, referring to the gold ring Pope Benedict XVI gave him during Saturday’s elevation ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. “I have to get it loosened a bit.”
Dolan, 62, said he planned to get the ring fixed “once I get back” to St. Patrick’s Cathedral tomorrow afternoon.
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The 18-karat ring — designed by the pope and made by the Savi Brothers jewelry shop near the Vatican — is highlighted by the images of Saints Peter and Paul. The ring also features a star on the front, symbolizing the Virgin Mary, and an engraved depiction of the pope’s coat of arms on the inside.
Dolan admitted he hadn’t seen the inside design yet — saying the mystery behind why the ring may be a tad tight is that he’s plumped up during his stay in Rome.
“I’ll let Lent take care of that,” he quipped, vowing to give up large portions of pasta for the 40 days that precede Easter beginning Wednesday.
During his Italian sojourn, Dolan has broken his diet on several occasions. Although the cardinal had shed 25 pounds over the last year, he indulged in some of his favorite pasta dishes in the days leading up to the consistory ceremony.
After getting his red hat and ring, Dolan had sipped a Budweiser — which, at 145 calories a bottle, is probably better than the carbs and heavy cream sauces the cardinal has indulged in over the last nine days.
In an effort to lose weight, he said, he hit the stationary bike Saturday night before going to bed — adding that he needed to burn off some calories and the “positive energy” that came with the excitement of the day.
“I was all worked up,” he said.
He didn’t mention his tight-fitting ring to the pope when New York’s archbishop and the other newly minted cardinals helped celebrate Mass with the pontiff at the Vatican in the morning.
With the scent of incense wafting through the air in St. Peter’s, Dolan and the 21 other new cardinals, wearing white robes, sat in a semicircle around the ornate altar as the pope delivered his Sunday homily.
The pope, addressing the crowd in Italian under the soaring dome designed by Michelangelo, said being in the presence of the 22 new cardinals was a “joy” and “a happy occasion” for him.
Then, using the basilica’s stained-glass windows as an example, the pontiff said the cardinals needed to reach out to people everywhere in order to spread the message of Jesus.
“God is not isolation, but glorious and joyful love, spreading outward and radiant with light,” he said.
The pope, who will turn 85 in April, has looked weary and sounded hoarse following three days of public events. The frail-looking pontiff was taken to the main altar in a moving platform in order to minimize his walking.
After Mass, the pope used his weekly address under a light drizzle in St. Peter’s Square to ask the crowd to pray for the newly elevated cardinals.
“I invite all of you to unite and pray for our new brothers, who are now busier than ever in helping me guide the church,” he said.