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Could Dolan be pope?

CREATED Jan 7, 2012

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An amazing honor Friday for former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Soon he will be known as Cardinal Dolan. The announcement was made by Pope Benedict at the Vatican.

 

The move means Archbishop Dolan could help select the next pope, but some people wonder if Dolan himself will ascend to the Vatican.

Archbishop Dolan has all the traits America would likely love in a pope. He's revered as a man of faith and a man of the people.

There's just one problem with him becoming pope: He's American.  Marquette journalism professor William Thorn explains the skepticism.

 

"No american cardinal would ever be pope as long as the United States is a super power," he says.

Thorn has spent plenty of time teaching in Rome. He believes an American pope can't happen -- as it could appear the United States was in charge of the church.

 

In an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ Friday, Dolan also called it impossible.

"I'm not trying to be an obligatory humility here, that's just, that... I wouldn't even think of that and that would not be a possibility," Dolan stated.

Still, the elevation to cardinal puts Dolan in a prime position to influence the Vatican for decades. He is only 61 -- 22 years younger than the pope, and he has the pope's support.

Dolan's elevation to cardinal does break with church tradition. He was appointed before the last cardinal of New York turned 80. That doesn't usually happen, and may speak to the pope's fondness for Milwaukee's former archbishop.