Written by- Sarah Peel
With Pope Benedict XVI leaving less than a month from now, can the world expect their first U.S. native pope?
On February 11, Catholics and non-Catholics alike awoke to some shocking new-Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down. The elderly pope has been reigning over the trouble religious institute since 2005, when Pope John Paul II passed away. Benedict XVI has had his fair share of scandals, as well as trying times for the Christian faith in his seven years reign. However, he has decided to step down at the end of February during the Lent season, due to age and health. This has caused much of the world speculate on the possibility of U.S. born pope is in our near future?
During the seven year reign of Pope Benedict, he has given many US priest high offices within the Church for the first time ever. Despite of the very bad reputation that has plagued the US Church since the 70s, many believe that we might see a turned tide during the conclave. Many have pointed out that both Benedict XVI and John Paul II were highly unlikely popes. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. is in out of the clear, especially with rumors of the sexual abuse being partly the reason for Benedict XVI’s resignation.
Currently we only have two popular U.S. Cardinals that might have the chance, both placed by Benedict and are conservatives. Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Cardinal Raymond Burke. Both have quickly hushed the question, but with the U.S. being such a heavy world influence, some hint that the Church could actually benefit from a U.S. based pope.
Questions of course remain, on how this would look for the Church since many have disdain for the Church. But with the last two recent popes, we have seen an usual shift that many hold out hope for. In fact, you can visit the Facebook pages for Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal Burke to see just how many wish for a U.S. bred pope. In fact, here is what Cardinal Dolan even had to say for himself on the rumors of a U.S. bred pope to “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM. “With the election of John Paul, with the election of Benedict, one wonders if the former boundaries seem not to have any more credibility.”
So what does that mean for the Church? That remains uncertain, but with the weeks leading up to the conclave you can prepare yourself for much hype in the U.S. for certain beloved Cardinals.