(CBS News) -- This Sunday on Face the Nation, guest host Norah O'Donnell spoke with Gov. Deval Patrick, D.-Mass, about security preparations for today's Boston Marathon. O'Donnell asked Patrick the question that was likely on many Boston residents' minds this morning: will this year's marathon be safe?
"Very safe," Patrick said. "Somebody said it may be the safest place in America tomorrow. But I will say that we've tried to strike a balance between enhanced security and preserving the family feel of this day."
Patrick said that the 26.2 mile long race would have a bolstered police presence, along with a ban on parcels and backpacks near the finish line. Although he maintained that he was not going to discuss some of the additional precautions, he made clear that officials on at the federal, state, and local levels had been working together on security for the event.
In the intelligence world, "chatter" is used to describe intercepted communications that could indicate a threat. So far, Patrick said, intelligence had not been alerted by this kind of red flag. But he maintained that officials are taking security very seriously. "We're not taking that as a sign to sort of stand down," Patrick said. "We're very alert. We're very prepared, and we're assuring people as much as we can that it'll be a fun day and a safe one."
Also in the broadcast, O'Donnell spoke with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who discussed Pope Francis and the role of the church in the modern world. Dolan also touched on the potential for reform in an institution that has been marred by sexual abuse scandals.
Dolan offered high praise for Pope Francis. "He has really ignited the imagination of the world," Dolan said. "For once, finally, it's almost like people are saying, 'Wow. There's reason to cheer, there's reason to hope, there's a good guy. The good guys are winning in the church.'"
O'Donnell asked Dolan about his views on marriage equality in light of a swiftly moving shift in U.S. public opinion that indicates heightened support gay rights. Despite this shift Dolan said, there Church must remain immovable on certain issues, and he declined endorse marriage rights for gay couples. "I believe that marriage is a given -- by God, because I'm a man of faith -- but also in the human psyche and human reason and the natural law, that marriage is, at its essence, is between a man and woman," Dolan said.
On the eve of the Boston marathon, Dolan also complimented his northern counterpart, Cardinal Shaun O'Malley of Boston, for the way he handled the bombings last year. "I found myself cheering on my friend Cardinal Shaun O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, the pastor, who expressed such gratitude for Boston," Dolan said. "Boston has risen up. It's an Easter story, if you want to talk about it. It's a Passover story. Boston has risen up from carnage, from death, from darkness."