Which St. Louisan Should Be the Next Pope?

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Dolan is a protector of the old ways, including now-obsolete snack cakes. - image via
Dolan is a protector of the old ways, including now-obsolete snack cakes.

5. Cardinal Timothy Dolan Dolan is St. Louis' very own Catholic boy made good: a graduate of the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary in Shrewsbury, he rose through the Church hierarchy to become Archbishop first of Milwaukee and then of New York. In 2012, Pope Benedict elevated him to the College of Cardinals, and some observers believe he's got a shot at becoming the first American Pope. (Granted, they're Americans and therefore slightly biased, but still.)

As Pope, Dolan would probably differ very little from his patron, Benedict, hewing to Church orthodoxy in all things (no abortion! more celibacy! no woman priests! etc). But, given his policy in Milwaukee, we suspect he'd be really good at clearing the Church of predatory child-molesting priests: He'd just pay them off and send them far, far away.

Dolan does have some local opposition to his becoming Pope: His brother Patrick Dolan told KMOX-TV, speaking as "a selfish little brother" that he secretly hopes Dolan won't be elected "because the family hardly sees Cardinal Dolan as it is and if he is elected pope someday, they'll probably only see him on Midnight Mass at home on TV."

Artist's rendering of Raymond Burke. - Jay Bevenour
Jay Bevenour
Artist's rendering of Raymond Burke.

4. Cardinal Raymond Burke The former Archbishop of St. Louis, Burke is now a VIP in the Vatican (technically a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, which makes him a very important canonical legal expert). But while he lived among us, Burke was very free with his opinions, vowing to deny the Eucharist to pro-choice Catholic politicians (including John Kerry and Joe Biden), resigning from the board of Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in protest of a benefit performance by pro-choice singer Sheryl Crow, calling for the "disciplining" of SLU basketball coach Rick Majerus after Majerus came out in support of stem-cell research and criticizing the University of Notre Dame for giving an honorary degree to pro-choice President Barack Obama.

Notice a pattern here?

While in St. Louis, Burke also made headlines for excommunicating Rev. Marek Bozek of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish after the parish refused to hand over its assets to the archdiocese and was dogged by rumors of his role in covering up sex-abuse scandals in his previous role as Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

See also: -Raymond Burke's Greatest Fits: Recalling the Lowlights of the Vatican's Newest Cardinal

If Burke becomes Pope, prepare to watch the Church return to its glory days of the Middle Ages, with all the smiting, tithing, subjugation of women and free and gleeful excommunication this implies, though, on the bright side, perhaps this may also mean a flowering of ecclesiastical art (particularly Gothic cathedrals and stained glass), the return of Gregorian chant and maybe even a couple more crusades and a resurgence of Black Death!

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