Elmore Leonard, the great crime writer, offers his idea of who should become the pope in a New York Times piece.
When I was a boy, around the time Pope Pius XI died, in 1939, I remember my dad saying he could be the next pope if he got the votes. He said there were no rules saying the pope had to come out of the cardinal pool, or be a bishop or priest of some kind; he only had to be a Catholic — male, of course — of good standing in the church, to be elected.
My mother, Flora, normally a kind soul, would tell Elmore Sr., “Shush, you could never in the world be the pope.” It was the only subject I remember them arguing about.
I grew up Catholic, went to Mass every day in grade school and high school; was taught by the Jesuits; spent two and a half years in the Navy during the war; returned, and was graduated from another Jesuit school, the University of Detroit. I even taught catechism in the ’60s, although I just told stories for the most part.
My dad might have been qualified to be pope. He worked for General Motors.
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