Although the Irish bookies Paddy Power are only giving Cardinal Timothy Dolan odds of 40/1 to be chosen as Pope Benedict’s replacement and the man himself is playing the suggestion down, the residents of New York are backing him to be the new leader of the Catholic Church.
Speaking outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan, members of his congregation made their voice clear – that he’s the man for the job.
Janette Cabral, 62, from Queens, told the New York Post, “I think the rest of the world would love Cardinal Dolan as much as New York does. I think he’d be great as pope.
“To be a pope, you have to be a leader, and that’s exactly what he is.”
Read more: Could Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York be the first American pope?
John Ibarra, 44, of the Lower East Side said, “If you ask me, Catholics need another Pope John Paul II, and Cardinal Dolan could be the man to do it…He’s already done so much for New York state and city — imagine what he could do with the rest of the world?”
However, Dolan doesn’t seem to share their sentiment. Speaking to reporters he said he found the idea that he’d be the next pop “highly improbable.”
He said, “I don’t think — and I hope I’m not being naive — but I don’t think there would be many cardinals who would think about that chance.
“That’s just way too out of the realm of probability.”
Again, during his appearance on the “Today” show on Monday, Dolan was asked if he would be voting for himself at the papal conclave meeting in March.
With a deadpan expression he quipped, “Crazy people cannot enter the conclave.”
The United States will have 11 electors at the conclave, the second-largest voting bloc to Italy’s 28.
Dolan repeatedly expressed his admiration for Pope Benedict and said he hoped the next pope shared many of his qualities including theological and worldly knowledge as well as several languages.
Read more: Canadian cardinal is the most likely next pope say insiders
Here’s a clip of Cardinal Timothy Dolan reacting to Pope Benedict’s retirement on CBS News