An American pope? The odds are long, but for the first time in papal history, many American Catholics believe that one of our own is in the running as Pope Benedict prepares for the unusual move of stepping down from the papacy.
American pope odds center around New York archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Dolan is a popular figure — recently appearing in New York at a talk with Comedy Central host, prominent Catholic and Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert — and is a candidate many Catholics in the US believe has a real if remote chance of ascending to the position.
Colbert himself first bandied about the American pope odds on his show last week, endorsing his pal Dolan as a strong candidate for popery and quipping about the Report‘s Papal Speculatron 7500. Stephen mused over the unusual papal resignation, as well as the secretive rituals surrounding the selection of popes:
“God has a way of telling Popes when to retire … It’s called death … I know when the cardinals are voting, no Pope is black smoke, a new pope is white smoke. I assume slacker Pope is bong smoke.”
While American pope odds remain long, Dolan himself has acknowledged the buzz and spoke about it on the Today show as he prepares to travel to Vatican City for the coming conclave. Dolan said:
Dolan will join the rest of the world’s cardinals next month at the conclave in the Sistine Chapel to elect the next pope.
“I’ve never been through this before — I’m still unpacking the red socks from a year ago when I was made a cardinal. I don’t exactly know, except for prayer … what else to do. I’ll await instructions like everybody else.”
Do you think Cardinal Dolan ups the American pope odds?