Marc Ouellet

Do you know the last time a Canadian was elected Pope?

…There’s a first time for everything, right?

Cardinal Ouellet is another Curia member, formerly archbishop of Quebec.  He is currently Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.  Once again, we have someone who has the advantage of knowing how the Vatican works … with the advantage of being an “outsider.”

(John Allen discussed how the recent Italian elections may cast doubt in some Cardinal’s minds about handing the Papacy over to an Italian.  It’s an interesting read, and swayed me away from assuming the next Pope will be Italian.)

I like Ouellet’s resume — a blend of pastoral, academic, and now Curial posts.  He’s also a member of the Council for Culture and the new Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and I believe that signals he has strengths in areas vital to the Church today.


He made a bit of a name for himself when he was relator general for the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in 2008, doing such a good job leading the proceedings and synthesizing the content of each day that one priest declared, “What he did today in the Aula, in the presence of the entire assembly and Benedict XVI, was a real ‘tour de force’ that left many people spellbound.”   You can read more here.

He has the knowledge of languages to speak to the universal Church and his Latin is flawless.

Sounds good to me.  I would start practicing how to pronounce his name… except that he may soon be changing it.

Why he won’t: See the opening question above.


9 thoughts on “Marc Ouellet

  1. We have a few people over here who think the same thing…I’ve been hearing whispers about both him and Cardinal O’Malley. North America represent?

    • joanallegretti says:

      I was going to do O’Malley in a few days, too. Yeah- it would be kind of wild to have a pope from N.America, wouldn’t it!?

  2. Mom says:

    O’Malley with Bishop Coyne as a Lombardi replacement. Seriously though, Cardinal Ouellet LOOKS papal. And I would be surprised if they pick an Italian, given the Curial problems. There should probably be a quota rule for Italians in the Curia. The Italians haven’t realized this is a new century.

  3. Amy says:

    My colleagues Sr. J and M. Sirilla were enthusiastically discussing this possibility in my hearing. (Ask Sr. J what she thinks of him when you see her next week.) Why NOT a Canadian pope? There had never been a pope from Poland (or…I don’t think there had been). Canada is a wreck; they (and we) could benefit…though that is not a driving reason to choose him by any stretch. Apparently, his name keeps coming up in public discussions. If he is the best, if he is the Lord’s chosen…bring him on! And may the Holy Spirit empower him to do what must be done.

    And…what your mom said.

    • joanallegretti says:

      Yes, Canada is a wreck, and that could be a strike against him, sadly. I don’t know enough about what he did when he was there, but like Cardinal Schonborn, I think when the state of the faith in your own backyard is in pieces, it’s not exactly a mark in your favor as bishop (or former bishop).

      • Amy says:

        Could be. To my discredit, I don’t follow the workings of the individual cardinals. But from the little I know, Card. Schonborn has added to the confusion (if unintentionally). I haven’t heard the same about Card. Ouellet.
        Also, care to make a prediction on how many days the conclave will last?

      • joanallegretti says:

        Good distinction. It’s hard to say. If I knew how long it was going to last (and when it was going to start), I would have a plane ticket in my hand right now. I would guess two or three days, though.

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