I want to begin by saying that I will gladly submit to the authority of the next pope no matter who he may be. However, that being said, everyone has his favourites. I've been asked this question dozens of times now and this is my answer...
"I don't believe the cardinals will elect an American, but if they did by chance, there is one whom I am very partial to, and that is Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the former Archbishop of Saint Louis."My family and I have twice visited the Cathedral Basilica in Saint Louis, and upon seeing it, it's no wonder Saint Louis used to be called the "Rome of the West." In truth, I once wrote a letter to Cardinal Burke, back when he was the Archbishop of Saint Louis. I offered him my support and prayers as he endured the ridicule of the Saint Louis press for no other reason than being a strong, sound and orthodox bishop! I told him plainly, that he and Pope Benedict XVI speak with one voice to me. The same held true all the way up to the Holy Father's abdication of the papal throne on February 28 of this year. Oh, how much I would love to hear his voice again, spoken through the mouth of Cardinal Burke as our next Holy Father.
The general consensus is that being an American is a handicap in the college of cardinals. With America's superpower status, it would seem (as the public consensus goes) that the cardinals would passover even the most capable of candidates for the papacy. I'm not sure if this is really true. Of all the countries in Europe, Germany is the economic and military powerhouse driving the European Union, and when you add up the economic and military clout of the European Union, it is essentially a superpower. Pope Benedict XVI was from Germany. So, I suppose based on that, an American pope is not completely out of the question. Another blogger, Dr. Taylor Marshall, has speculated ten good reasons why Cardinal Burke will be elected the next Roman pontiff (read it here). I hope he's right.
After all is said and done however, Catholics must pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the college of cardinals to elect the pope God wants, and that's what really matters. Whoever he may be, I look forward to his arrival.
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