I couldn't help but reprint this segment from John L. Allen Jr.'s post on the National Catholic Fishwrap, "Rome notebook: Dolan's the rock star of this consistory":
Yesterday, I was drawn into a heated discussion among several Vatican correspondents from Italy, other European nations, and Latin America, the topic of which was: Could Dolan be pope? The consensus was that it’s an awfully long shot, but the fact of the conversation itself is telling.
A Spaniard seemed to capture the sentiment of the group, and perhaps something of the broader Roman reaction to Dolan.
“I cannot think that these cardinals are going to elect a cowboy pope,” he said – and for once, this European didn’t mean “cowboy” pejoratively, but in the sense of someone who would give the Vatican a healthy jolt.
Then he added: “But can you imagine how much fun it would be if they did?”
Naturally, I wish Papa Bene many more years in the Chair of St. Peter; we still have much to learn from this extremely wise man. But were ++Dolan the first American elected Pope, could you see us calling him (say) "Pope John Paul III" or "Leo XIV" ("L14" for short)? No, I think the world in deep affection would insist on calling him "Papa Tim"! And referring back to Fr. Andrew M. Greeley's "job description" of the Supreme Pontiff — "a hopeful holy man who smiles" — it's hard to feature a man more telegenically hopeful and joyous than ++Dolan.
The next conclave is many years off. But is it so far off we can't consider the primate of New York papabile?
Update: Same day, 2:55 pm
Okay, it's official now, so I can say it: Timothy Michael Dolan, cardinal priest of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monte Mario, and by the Grace of God and favor of the Apostolic See Archbishop of New York!