Archbishop Timothy Dolan was supposed to be a breath of fresh air for New York Catholics after the creaking moribund reign by Cardinal Edward Egan.

But it's clearly back to business as usual with the Catholic Church as Dolan has joined a long line of senior clergy defending Pope Benedict XVI.

Incredibly, Dolan says Benedict is like Jesus and needs to be defended by his flock.

Dolan made his comments during a standing-room only Palm Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Now Dolan wants the flock to pray for Benedict and says he faces the same crown of thorns as Jesus Christ did.

Sorry Archbishop, but let's not forget that the Pope - like countless other top Church officials in Ireland - has been accused of ignoring the evidence of sex and child abuse priests in the U.S., Ireland and Germany.

Interestingly, over at The New York Times, Maureen Dowd used Palm Sunday to highlight why she believes the Church should have a female Pope, a "Nope" as she called it.

She says it's time to elevate women to the same status of men.

I know which version of Catholicism I prefer.

As Maureen writes;"If the church could throw open its stained glass windows and let in some air, invite women to be priests, nuns to be more emancipated and priests to marry, if it could banish criminal priests and end the sordid culture of men protecting men who attack children, it might survive."

Or else we can just keep on sticking our heads in the sand and pretending the people who need to answer tough questions should be treated like the messiah they so clearly aren't.