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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