Tags: donohue | pope | italy | milan

Catholic League: Italian Cardinal Scola 'Safe' Choice for Pope

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 05:23 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

The Vatican should tap Italy’s Archbishop of Milan as the successor to Pope Benedict if it wants a safe bet, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

“If they want to play it safe, go with [Cardinal] Angelo Scola,’’ Donohue told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’

“Scola is like 71, he’s Italian, and he was on the very short list and lost in 2005 to Joseph Ratzinger who became Pope Benedict.’’

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According to Donohue, one highly-visible candidate who may have blown his chances as the Roman Catholic Church’s top leader is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.

That’s because Turkson spoke to a reporter about the possibility of being selected — which is apparently considered out of bounds. In addition, somebody tacked up posters of Turkson around Rome as if he were running for office.

“Cardinal Turkson might be a long shot as a result of that,’’ Donohue said. “Probably a safer bet would be what Cardinal [Timothy] Dolan said, you have a better chance of taking Alex Rodriguez to play at third base.’’

Donohue said whoever is selected for the job, they will mostly likely be installed in the Vatican in the next week or two.

“I always know how slow the Catholic Church operates. In one essence, it doesn’t really matter because, quite frankly, they need a week just to talk formally and particularly informally,’’ he said.

“They want to get it wrapped up certainly by Holy Week. They don’t want to have to go into Holy Week with this hanging over their heads. So the middle part of March is key.

“My guess as an Irishman is that by St. Patrick’s Day we should have a new pontiff.’’

Donohue said his personal pick for pope would be New York’s Cardinal Dolan, but that is an extreme long shot.

“Of course, now that would be great if we had my man Dolan there, wouldn’t it? But I don’t know if they can get over their anti-American prejudice, some of the Europeans,’’ he said.

Donohue emphasized that whoever the next pope is, it has to be “somebody who can govern. Not just a good man in the Holy Spirit – I’m all in favor of that – we need a person who can govern.

“There are serious problems in the Catholic Church in terms of governance, administration, the Curia or the Vatican bureaucracy.

“We don’t need a celebrity. What we need is somebody who can make some tough decisions and stand by them.’’

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