Will It Be Pope Dolan?
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the front-runner to replace Palpatine.
One of Benedict’s first major appointments was to install an American, Cardinal William Levada, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He resigned last year, to be replaced by a German, but US influence in the Vatican continued to grow. Cardinal Raymond Burke, from Wisconsin, heads the Vatican’s highest court. And Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, a New York native, was recently given the key position of vice president of the Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei Commission. Moreover, an ex-Fox news presenter, Greg Burke, is now the Church’s head of communications.As the head of the United Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dolan has been the Vatican's point man in their battle to thwart LGBT rights in America.
With Americans in key curial positions, the red-hatted US contingent will have a strong influence over the next Conclave. The suddenness of Pope Benedict’s announcement does not give the cardinals from the developing world much time to form a consensus around an emerging star. Whereas the Americans, in Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and a close ally of the Pope Benedict, have a widely respected and popular figure who could comfortably win enough votes. A New York Pope might not be the global story people are hoping for. Nonetheless, it would be quite something.
UDPATE: Dolan says he "admires the pope's humility."