Tags: pope | successor | obama | ties

Next Pope Could Have Direct Line to White House

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 08:34 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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The next Pope may not only have a direct line to the man upstairs — he could also have a direct line to the White House.

With hours to go before Tuesday’s start of the Conclave that will elect a successor for Pope Benedict XVI, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has been attracting buzz both in the U.S. and in Vatican publications as a rising star and possible contender for the job, reports The Washington Post.

In the event that O’Malley is chosen in the white plume of smoke that emerges from the Sistine Chapel, he would not only be the first American to lead the Church’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, he would also have an unlikely tie to President Barack Obama — O’Malley’s communications director, Terry Donilon, is the brother of U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

“One Donilon brother working for the most powerful man on the planet and the other one could work for the most powerful religious leader on the planet?” Terry Donilon told the Post in a cafĂ© by the Vatican. “Yeah, that’s kind of an interesting storyline.”

While Tom Donilon is expected to step down from his White House post soon, the Donilons will still be represented in the administration, and perhaps beyond, by a third brother, Michael, who has been a longtime aide to Vice President Biden.

Biden of course has been attracting buzz as a possible successor to Obama in 2016.

And in case you’re wondering, all of the Donilon brothers also served as altar boys at St. Michael’s Parish — in an Irish section of Providence, R.I., according to the newspaper.








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