Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But I did have dinner once with one of the two American cardinals being discussed as a serious candidate.
Don’t get me wrong; I think an American pope would be a very bad idea. The US dominates the world militarily and economically; an American pope would appear to seal the deal. And as one of the American cardinals being discussed – Cardinal Dolan – is someone I have been very critical of, I hardly think he would be anything less than a disaster as pope.
But the other American cardinal who is being mentioned? That would be Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who had dinner with my old Franciscan community when I was with them in New York. I don’t know if he is an Americanist like Dolan; I have never seen any political statement from him, but he is an observant Capuchin, one who was in sympathy with our reform community. And disaster or not, how cool would it be to say that I once shared dinner with the Pope?
Oh, and he was very personable…