President Barack Obama may have to cut short his trip to Israel next week if it coincides with the installation of a new pope, especially if he will be an American. With 75 Catholic Americans and archbishops from Boston and New York who are nominees to replace Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinals failed for the second straight day on Wednesday to elect a new pope.
President Obama probably will not want to miss the opportunity to be present for the sake of a trip to Israel that is filled with low expectations.
The president has publicly promoted the selection of an American pope. In an interview with ABC News that was recorded on Tuesday and aired Wednesday, he told “Good Morning America,” ”It seems to me that an American pope would preside just as effectively as a Polish pope or an Italian pope or a Guatemalan pope.”
Asked if an American pope would feel obliged to take instructions from the president, Obama responded, “I don’t know if you’ve checked lately, but the Conference of Catholic Bishops here in the United States don’t seem to be takin’ orders from me.”
The first round of voting for a new pope failed to proclaim a replacement. The front-runners are from Italy and Brazil.