Cardinal Dolan of Ballwin Discussed as Possible Next Pope
The former parish priest from Ballwin is the archbishop of the New York Catholic archdiocese.
The surprise announcement this morning that Pope Benedict XVI would resign the papacy at the end of the month immediately brought to mind the name of perhaps the most powerful Catholic in the United States as a possible successor.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York and a native of Ballwin, was immediately mentioned as a possible successor when the College of Cardinals meets in March to choose the next pope.
Chester Gillis, Georgetown University, an expert on the U.S. Catholic Church, the history of Catholicism, and the papacy, was interviewed on the CBS Morning News and asked whether Dolan was a possibility.
"I think actually that he is. It's remote, because America is so powerful already so perhaps someone from our country to be the pope is adding power," Gillis said. "I think the Italian cardinals will think differently of that, perhaps they would like the papacy back. But certainly Cardinal Dolan, who knows Rome very well, is known very well and is very popular is a possibility."
NBC News said Dolan was a "longshot" for the papacy. The news network quoted Dolan on its world news blog saying he was "startled" and "anxious" about the news.
"Except for prayer, I don’t know what else to do," he said. "I’ll await instruction with everyone else."