Will Cardinal O’Malley Become Pope?

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston, left, celebrates Mass Monday morning for the seminarians at the North American College in Rome. Could O'Malley become the new pope?

With the papal conclave to choose the next Pope beginning Tuesday, speculation has grown over the past weeks that one of Boston’s own could become the Catholic Church’s new leader.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley could become the new pontiff following Pope Benedict XVI’s Feb. 11 resignation, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Though it is less likely an American would be elected, it’s not impossible, and O’Malley has as good a chance as any Western papal candidate, according to the Reporter.

O’Malley, 68, has been lauded for his efforts in the wake of the church’s sex abuse crisis. However, the Reporter points to O’Malley’s wilting in 2004 while the Archdiocese of Boston suffered parish closings, which have indirectly lead to realignment.

O’Malley is highly regarded in the Catholic Church, but there has never been an American pope. Should it be O’Malley? Leave your opinion in the comments.

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