Could the new pope be an American? - New York News

Could the new pope be an American?

Posted: Updated:

Soon, the Catholic Church will need to pick a new pope now that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning his post at the end of the month, so what are the odds that an American could replace him?

It's not a job anyone can apply for -- and it's not typically one that gets quit, but at 85 years old, Benedict said he is simply too weak to continue in the role.

In addition to leading the prayers and policy for one billion Cathoilcs across the globe, the pontiff also serves in the role of religious diplomat and has a strong influence on international relations.

Professor Massimo Faggioli is a nationally-known historian of Catholicism, and he says the announcement could be a game-changer for the church.

"We've never had this kind of situation, when the next conclave -- in a few weeks -- will elect a new pope knowing that the former pope is still alive," he explained.

Even so, Faggioli thinks it's unlikely an American cardinal would be elevated to the church's highest post since the U.S. is already widely seen as an economic and military superpower.

"In political terms, we could say that the Roman Catholic Church is the last empire. It's everywhere. It's in five continents," he said.

Benedict plans to resign at the end of February, but many Minnesota Catholics told FOX 9 News they prefer to think of it as retirement.

A Vatican spokesperson said it is likely that a new pope will be appointed by Easter.

Join our Facebook family

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:37:51 GMT
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
  • NYC police investigating body in plastic container

    NYC police investigating body in plastic container

    Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.
    Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.
  • Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:00:18 GMT
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices