Is it possible?
According to this story, the New York prelate’s name is being mentioned with increasing frequency in Rome, as cardinals from around the globe begin arriving for the official farewell of Pope Benedict XVI next week.
Of course, speculation is just that – speculation. Nonetheless, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is reporting that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, one of the most seasoned and influential members of the College of Cardinals, is quietly promoting Dolan as a possible choice in the upcoming conclave.
Cardinal Dolan himself of course has displayed his usual humility and good humor, and responded to inquiries with typical candor:
You know, listen, all the cardinals are really embarrassed to talk about that, and we’d be uncomfortable talking about it, so I’ll leave it at that.
Of course, the conventional wisdom has held that the cardinals will not elect an American out of a reluctance to see a “super-power papacy.” Moreover, Cardinal Dolan has only been a cardinal for a year, an historically very short time in the College to be seriously considered.
Young, full of energy and boundless joy, from an unlikely country…
Nah, can’t happen.