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Dolan: “Anyone Who Thinks I’m Next Pope is Smoking Pot.”

Let me start by saying that I completely respect and honor New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the former archbishop of the Milwaukee Catholic diocese.

Would I love to see the man be the next pope?  Yes.

Do I think he’s going to be the next pope?  No.

The Vatican has always been keen not to give the papacy to a nation that has super-power status, there’s a heavy Italian voting bloc you have to overcome and frankly at the end of the day, the American media would go nuts if someone who’s been an open advisory of President Obama on the issues of abortion and birth control mandates in health care was made pope.

Dolan is intelligent enough to know this too.  And used a colorful way to explain it to the assembled press outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral after yesterday’s mass.

Anyone who believes Timothy Cardinal Dolan has a chance of becoming the next pope is smoking funny cigarettes — so says Dolan.

At St. Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday, Dolan was asked about rumors that he would be named the first American pope when the College of Cardinals convenes next month to select Pope Benedict’s successor.

“I’d say those are only from people smoking marijuana,” Dolan said.

When Benedict stunned the world last week by saying he would resign on Feb. 28, it was expected the Vatican conclave to choose the next pope would be held a couple of weeks later.

But now, there are indications it will be moved up because there is no period of mourning, as there would be for a deceased pope.

“I haven’t heard anything,” said Dolan. “I’m eager along with the rest of the cardinals to hear some information and instructions about what will happen.”

“I would think one would not want to rush into the conclave,” he added.

Benedict drew a larger than usual crowd for his penultimate Sunday address yesterday and asked the faithful to pray for him and for the next pope.

Lost in the story about Dolan using a pot reference was this interesting gem highlighting that he’s not backing down on the church’s teaching and certain American politicians.

Dolan also said he wants Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo to reconsider changing New York’s abortion laws, as he proposed in his State of the State address.

“Tragically, we are the abortion capital of the nation. If there’s one area where we don’t need to expand things in the state of New York, it would be in abortion rights,” Dolan said.

I highly doubt there is any New York Catholic who would deny that charge.  The state has some of the most liberal laws on the books regarding parental consent (or lack thereof) and has few limits on late-term abortions, more commonly known as “partial-birth.”

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