March 13th, 2013
09:09 AM ET

Obama: U.S. pope would do just as well

It's been said that Roman Catholic cardinals are reluctant to ever choose an American pope, because the Vatican would then be too closely tied to Washington. President Barack Obama would beg to differ.

As cardinals participated in a conclave Wednesday to elect a new pope, Obama told ABC's "Good Morning America" that an "American pope would preside just as effectively as a Polish pope or an Italian pope or a Guatemalan pope."

"I don't know if you've checked lately but the Conference of Catholic Bishops here in the U.S. don't seem to be taking orders from me," he said, chuckling, after being asked if an American pope would take orders from the president.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christian • Politics • Religion • Vatican
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Benn

    It would be wonderful to have an American pope or someone who would perform the ceremonies in English. Very few people understand the church's traditional language of Latin.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Services have not been in Latin for over 40 years.

      March 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO

    Does anyone else remember the Archie Bunker line?

    "God ain't ready for a black President. He needs to make a black Pope first. He hasn't done that yet."

    March 13, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ Benn:
    Have you attended Mass recently? Like, since John XXIII or so?
    I'm not Catholic, but my impression is that it's very difficult to find a service in Latin.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Omnes Latine loquendi consuetudo nostra referes. Sed sic non loquimur Anglorum quando in hunc forum.

      (Sorry if I butchered it, I used google translate. Blame google.)

      March 13, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • DB

      You might be taken more seriously if you figured out how to use that "reply" button.

      March 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I wonder whether or not many non-Catholics in the USA think that the Mass remained in Latin for all those centuries because everybody on the streets of Italy was conversing in Latin?

    March 13, 2013 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Catholic services had already converted to english when I was a child. That was many decades ago. And in the old days, they alson changed from the services being held withe priests back to you at the main alter, to a table facing the parishioners so they could feel like being more a part of the service They've even experimented with having musical services, I guess in order to compete with some of the other religions.
    But the one constant, that caused me to question the faith at a young age, is the practice of kneeling in front of statues to pray. That, I was never able to accept.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamnew44

      You are not supposed to pray to the statues, the statues are supposed to be visual aides to help you pray. Like the myth that Catholics worship Mary (the Hail Mary is a plea to Mary to pray for us) , there are a lot of misconceptiions about the Catholic faith.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      I did not say pray to the statues, I said kneel down in front of the statues. And yes, catholics do pray to saints also.

      March 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I will tell you exactly what I think. I think the POTUS is simply "jealous" of the Vatican. And no, the Bishops don't take orders from Obama, no more than they take "your orders" at Burger King. Everyone thinks the church is all scandal ridden, but just sayin', the Bishops' orders are based on sound biblical doctrine, not to be miscmisconstrued with secular lies and deceit.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Name s kel

      Right wing, jealous? Like the republicans are for LOSEING and are still whinning and denying ,being self denying about it?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Name s kel

      Oh and Right Wing I see your guy Newt Grigrich in my church . Sunday I chatted with him ,asked him if he would like to see a american pope like I would and he said yes. Nothing about OUR President being jealous.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

      s kel:
      I do not know Mr. Gingrich (not Gringrich) personally, however he might concur, if we had an American Pope, he wouldn't listen to Obama either. A CHURCH DOES NOT FOLLOW THE SECULAR SYSTEM.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Quite right, the church follows it's own agenda. I'll give most (but not all) bishops the benefit of the doubt, that their decision making is based on their interpretation of scripture, not politics.

      Scandal ridden, s kel? Maybe that's relative, any large body has some scandal. But compare it to the Catholic church of about 800 years ago, or televangelists and cults of today. It's no contest.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Name s kel

    JIF ,cogito ergo sum but de gustibus non est disputandum.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ Jeff Frank

    All priests and most ministers and preachers attend some sort of biblical college where they learn the meanings of the scriptures. One would think that if the doctrines were as sound as you say, there would be a universal interpretation. But this is not the case. Each religion has their own intepretaion of the scriptures and I guess it depends on which message one wants to listen to.

    March 13, 2013 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

      Bobcat (iah):
      Yes. You've hit that nail pretty much on the head. It is what it is. Unfortunatly, some want to break away from mainstream religion, by starting chuches up based on a couple excerpts from the bible, making way of leadership by false prophets, as clearly warned in scripture.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Actually, each religious order, even each priest, has some variation on how they interpret. There is actually some room for personal interpretation. It's not 1200 AD any more. You don't need to worry about being burned at the stake.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jim from Smithtown

    Seagulls told Columbus he was reaching the 'new world'! Perhaps the conclave is reaching our shores, as well...

    March 13, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Luis

      Well, except that Columbus did not land in current USA land (not even near). And "America is a continent named so 269 years before there even was an USA, but yeah well, I am glad the founding fathers did not name the nation United States of of the Earth...

      March 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    Ask the leader of ANY country who has a Cardinal that may be elected Pope, and of course they will say yes.
    They did a poll of people in Africa asking if they would like an African Pope, and they said yes. It would be the same if they asked people in South America, Europe, etc...of COURSE President Obama said yes. And President Obama KNOWS that there is nothing political about the question; people making it into one are being deliberately specious.

    March 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    "I will tell you exactly what I think. I think the POTUS is simply “jealous” of the Vatican."
    No, I don't think so, Jeff. I think the POTUS was asked a silly question, as so many directed of him are, and he gave an answer.
    For instance, I do not think that the POTUS is anymore jealous of the Vatican are. And if you ARE jealous of the Vatican, I STILL don't think he is.

    March 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Just so nobody gets the idea that I claim to know Latin well, I started forgetting my Latin in 1956. Now I get lost when I have to go further than the Verdi Requiem, where I know all of the tunes.

    March 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    You need a Michigan pope. You need 2 popes in Detroit alone. The POTUS IS JEALOUS.

    March 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Micko77

    I couldn't possibly care less what President What'sHisNameToday thinks about the Catholic church. He worships the Church Of State Religion.

    March 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Luis

    A USA Pope would not make any sense to me at all. With all due respect. It's not like you can influence your way into the Nobel Price, over much better and deserving candidates.

    March 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
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