Cardinal Dolan on his way to Rome to help select new pope

CREATED Feb. 26, 2013

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VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Timothy Dolan flew to Rome Tuesday to help select the new pope.

Pope Benedict makes his final public appearance Wednesday and will officially step down on Thursday.

Chicago Cardinal Francis George is already there. A reporter asked him if the conclave would look for a physically strong candidate.

"We always need someone whose vital, don't we?” he responded. “But if by that it means somebody who is stronger physically then Pope Benedict has been, then I suppose that's true. Pope benedict is stronger physically than John Paul II in his last days. So we'll look for somebody who can do that job and that means somebody with the physical resistance to sustain what is now an onerous public schedule."

Before he left New York, Cardinal Dolan was asked about the chance he might be elected pope. He replied: "Listen, I think I've got a better chance of taking A-Rod's place than Benedict's place."

(A-Rod refers to the New York Yankee's third baseman Alex Rodriguez.)