“I cannot imagine the next consistory not doing Wuerl and [New York Archbishop Timothy] Dolan,” said Bill Ditewig, a deacon with the Washington Archdiocese who teaches theology at St. Leo University near Tampa, Fla. “Those two jump off the page.”
However, retired New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan turns 78 this year, meaning a Dolan appointment is unlikely until Cardinal Egan turns 80 in 2012. Mr. Ditewig predicts that Atlanta will be another Southern city that the pope will make a cardinal see.
“I certainly think Atlanta Archbishop [Wilton D.] Gregory will make it in at some point,” he added. “He has a reputation nationally and internationally as being a very effective bishop.”
The number of American cardinals is 13 — about one-tenth of the College of Cardinals — which may work against more American candidates, Father Reese said.
“There are other parts of the world besides the United States, which is the problem Wuerl faces,” he said. “Thirteen U.S. cardinals is an all-time high, and Burke has a job in the Vatican that has traditionally gone to a cardinal. I am rooting for Wuerl. But because Benedict is keeping the number to 120, Wuerl is not necessarily a shoo-in.”
Julia Duin is the Times’ religion editor. She has a master’s degree in religion from Trinity School for Ministry (an Episcopal seminary) and has covered the beat for three decades. Before coming to The Washington Times, she worked for five newspapers, including a stint as a religion writer for the Houston Chronicle and a year as city editor at the ...
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