Also read this May 10, 2010 posting on Cardinal O’Malley’s chances of being the next pope.
I really do NOT think the next pope will be from the US. I have made that abundantly clear in my blogs and in “The Next Pope.” I also do not think that the next pope will be from Germany or Poland. But, I am also the first to admit that I could be wrong.
Yes, in time there will be a pope from the US. I just have a hard time believing that it will be within the next decade. A pope from the US will, rightly or wrongly, be seen as imbuing the US with even more political clout and influence. Yes, Barak Obama‘s inspiring presidency as ameliorated the worst of the polarization we had seen in the past. But, I am not sure that the cardinals electors from around the world are still willing to give the US two ‘top tier’ world leaders right now. But, I could be wrong. As for Germany and Poland … the electors may feel that the ‘wealth’ has to be spread around.
In the last couple of days I have received a couple of emails promoting Cardinal O’Malley as a viable papabile.
I have my doubts. But, I also noticed that he sports a BEARD. That was noticeable. Yes, the Eastern Rites Patriarchs all have beards. But, they are supposed to.
Here is an illuminating article from the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia about beards.
Innocent XII (#243), 1691-1700, was the last pope to have a beard.
That O’Malley proudly sports a beard is incongruous, at least to me. Yes, he is a Capuchin; i.e., a friar in the order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Yes, all of the ten prior cardinals who were Capuchins also had beards. We, however, have 36 cardinals, in total, that belong to religious orders. The others don’t sport beards.
Is he trying to tell US something, and if so, what so.
I used to have a goatee when I was in my early twenties. Since then I have also become one who questions those that don’t shave. I hate shaving. I also hate exercise … but, I run 6 days a week. I shave at least as often. So what is it with O’Malley? He doesn’t look like a runner. Can’t he be bothered to shave? I just did a post comparing John XXIII (#262) to Benedict XVI (#266). I could be wrong. Forget O’Malley is American. Forget that he will invariably be associated with Cardinal Law. Will the electors elect one of the very few among them that does NOT shave? Tell me. Just for the record, no Capuchin has ever been pope. There have, however, been 30 popes from other religious orders.