WBUR

O’Malley Downplays Talk He’s A Papal Front-Runner

Audio report above is WBUR’s Bob Oakes’ interview with reporter R.D. Sahl, who’s in Rome for the conclave.

BOSTON — Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley is downplaying new reports that he’s one of the front-runners to become the next pope.

This weekend, O’Malley led a poll among Vatican experts published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. He also topped a reader poll posted on the newspaper’s website.

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley arrives to his titular church of Santa Maria alla Vittoria in Rome to celebrate Mass, Sunday. (Domenico Stinellis/AP)

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley arrives to his titular church of Santa Maria alla Vittoria in Rome to celebrate Mass, Sunday. (Domenico Stinellis/AP)

The cardinal led a Mass in Rome on Sunday. It’s expected to be his final public appearance until the conclusion of the conclave to elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

“Pews were packed with the faithful, and every other nook and cranny in the church was taken up by reporters and photographers, reflecting the strong interest — at least in the Italian press — about Cardinal O’Malley and his chances of becoming the first American pope,” said reporter and Boston University journalism professor R.D. Sahl, who’s covering the conclave for WBUR.

According to Sahl, after the Mass, in English, O’Malley “in reference to his own chances, assured them he would be back as their cardinal after the conclave.”

O’Malley and 114 other cardinals begin the conclave Tuesday in the Sistene Chapel.

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  • Serpent0001

    He’s not a front runner – Don’t know where the writer is getting their info – but no ‘American’ cardinal is even remotely considered a front-runner. It’s either going to be an Italian (Scola or Ravisi) or perhaps (and this is a BIG maybe) a Latin American – ie.e. Scherer or Sandri. Ouellet is the only North American that has even a maybe outside chance for consideration – and that’s because he heads an important curial department – and I seriously doubt that he would even get a second look.

  • Dave Seaman, BA, MM Phd

    There isn;t a chance that an American will be chosen as Pope and most CERTAINLY not a Boston Cardinal. Our new pope will come from Centeal Europe. I would love to see an African or Asian pope, but i know better., The United states has already been told that it’s desires are far too li9beral for the Vatican. O’Malley is still far too close to
    Cardinal Law and it will be a long time before anyone forgets the Crisis in the Church surrounding Law. O’Malley is connected by locale. It won;t happen. He is not a front runner. Look for a European pop. Spain. Poland. Italy. Denmark even.

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