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Will cardinals look for tough manager as next Pontiff?

February 24, 2012

The recent spate of controversy over leaked Vatican documents has renewed a common complaint that Pope Benedict XVI has not succeeded in taming the Vatican bureaucracy. John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter argues that the criticism is not entirely warranted; this pontificate has seen a major drive to break up the fiefdoms of the Roman Curia and especially the Secretariat of State.

Nevertheless, Allen allows, with both Pope Benedict and Bl. John Paul II rightly classified as “teaching” Pontiffs, the next conclave may wish to select a Pope who would be a reliable hands-on administrator.

While he cautions against premature speculation about the next papacy, Allen does report that an American prelate captured the imagination of many Church leaders during last week’s consistory: the newly elevated Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

Is it foolish to consider the possibility of an American Pope? Allen asks that question and offers some provisional answers.


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