Catholic scholars won’t rule out New World Pope
Online odds makers, even Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo believe there's no way an American will be the next Pope.
"Owing to the fact the kind of nation we are," DiNardo told reporters last month.
However, Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers at the University of St. Thomas believes the decision comes down to charisma, so why not an American such as Boston's Sean O'Malley or Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York?
"I wouldn't put it out of possibility," Sommers tells KTRH News. "I expect a New World Cardinal, which would mean either North America or South America."
"The Cardinals are looking for a very charismatic, outgoing communicator," she says. "Timothy Dolan is not a bad example of that and certainly very high-profile in the American church."
The Catholic League's Patrick McNamara says he sides with DiNardo, believing any American is a long-shot at becoming Pope.
"Being one of the great super powers in the world, there is a lot envy and hatred of America in other countries throughout the world," McNamara tells KTRH News.
That doesn't mean the next pope can't come from the New World -- someone Canadian Marc Oullet or Brazil's Odilo Pedro Scherer.
McNamara says whoever it is, the decision will come quick.
"The longest conclave in the last 100 years was in 1922 and that was five days," he says. "John Paul II was elected in three days; Benedict XVI was elected in two days."