The conclave of 115 cardinals who will elect the pope convenes on Tuesday. They will keep casting ballots until someone gets two-thirds of the vote. Those of us who decry the office can still be interested in the outcome. I think it would be good for worldwide Christianity if the cardinals would elect a non-European, such as Peter Turkson of Ghana. Or maybe an Asian, such as Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka or Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines. Interestingly, liberal Catholics oppose the election of a pope from the developing world, since those societies are extremely conservative when it comes to “women’s issues” and, especially, homosexuality.
But I would love it if New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan were to be chosen. That’s because I’ve met him! When he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, he was involved with a Catholic school where my wife taught. Lutheran though I am, I think it would be cool to be able to say that I’ve met the pope. [Read more…]