Could Cardinal Donald Wuerl become next pope? - FOX 35 News Orlando

Could Cardinal Donald Wuerl become next pope?

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WASHINGTON -

The latest name to surface as a possible successor to Pope Benedict XVI is none other than Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington says all cardinals at the Vatican are now under a media blackout, so they don't know what Cardinal Wuerl thinks of the report first floated by CBS News.

But Wuerl has said his becoming Pope would be a fantasy and not something he expects.

But it is intriguing nonetheless.

"The Holy Spirit will not be working overtime if Cardinal Wuerl is chosen as the next pope," says Lambert Mbom, a Catholic we spoke to before 5:15 p.m. mass at the Basilica in Northeast D.C.

"With all that he's been doing in the Diocese and around the U.S. to promote new evangelization," Mbom continues, "I think that he's just, in my opinion, the right person to be pope because that is the direction the church needs at this time."

The world's more than one billion Catholics are without a spiritual leader. And so, the priest at the 5:15 p.m. mass led a small gathering of the faithful in prayer for a new pope.

"Oh God, eternal shepherd," they prayed, "who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your church."

Other Catholics we spoke to seem pleased at the notion the 72-year-old Pittsburgh native just might become the head of the church.

"That'd be great," says Toni Lem. "I think if the conclave of bishops decide he's worthy of the job and he accepts it, that would be great."

Before he departed for Rome on February 24, Cardinal Wuerl himself dismissed the notion of an American pope.

"I don't think it would be seen as a very good thing if the Pope, who's supposed to be reminding governments of their responsibilities to build peace, if he were from the same superpower," Wuerl told reporters at Dulles International Airport.

"He would be a fabulous pope," says Fr. Mark Morozowich, Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic University. "I think the fact that he's a great communicator, that he's a known managerial person and that he was ... the coordinator, if you will, of the last Senate of Bishops that was held in Rome just this past October."

A Dominican priest we met at the Basilica says the next pope, above all else, must be a holy man.

"He must be like Jesus," says Fr. Joseph Alobaidi. "But you know what? He should not be the only one like Jesus."


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