Could the next pope be Canadian?

Among the names being floated to replace Pope Benedict XVI: Marc Ouellet


Marc Cardinal Ouellet in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Basilica, 45 minutes East of Quebec City on Aug. 15, 2010. (Francis Vachon/CP)

Marc Cardinal Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican’s office for bishops, is one of the top names being floated to replace Pope Benedict XVI after his surprise resignation announcement.

Ouellet, 68, is a Quebecker who was the Archbishop of Quebec from 2003 to 2010. He was named as one of the possibilities to replace Pope John Paul in 2005, but he wasn’t chosen.

More recently, John L. Allen Jr., a reporter at The National Catholic Reporter, put forward Ouellet’s name as one of his top three choices to become the next pope.

His position as Archbishop of Quebec means “he has a track record in leading the church in a difficult and highly secular environment,” wrote Allen. Also, Ouellet spent 10 years as a missionary in Columbia and he is fluent in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian, meaning he has both the international experience and the language skills needed to lead Catholics around the world.

Ouellet isn’t without his own controversy, however. In 2010 he was forced to defend comments he made about abortion at a news conference, calling it a “moral crime,” and saying that it was as serious as murder, even in the case of rape. Those comments drew condemnation from Quebec politicians and women’s groups.

His older brother, Paul Ouellet, has also been convicted of sexual assault against minors, something which he served 15 months of community service for. In 2009, Paul Ouellet took out a newspaper ad to explain his conviction, saying his only mistake was that he responded to “advances” made by two young people, who were aged 13 and 15.

Controversies aside, online betting site PaddyPower.com is offering 5/2 odds that the next pope will be from Canada.

Pope Benedict XVI’s term will end on Feb. 28 and a new pope will be elected by the end of March.

The fact that the new pontiff could be Canadian also had people talking on Twitter.


Could the next pope be Canadian?

  1. Ouellet has already stated that he wasn’t interested in the job.

  2. So will he want it?

    According to the predictions of St Malachy, this next one will be the last Pope

    ‘”In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit

    Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations:

    and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed,

    and the terrible judge will judge his people.

    The End.”‘

    • Eh, if someone believes in the fringe silliness of the predictions of “St. Malachy” hopefully they’ll be encouraged to stay away, and everyone will better off.

      • Actually they go perfectly with the silliness of the RC church.

        • Certain parts of it, sure. You can identify that particular species of Catholic by whether they like liturgical dance, labyrinth mazes, and god awful folk music as hymns.

          • Not even folk music could save the RC church. A dreadful institution that’s held up progress for 2000 years.

          • Eh, if you want to go back to the way we Northern Europeans did things 2000 years ago, I’m down with that. As a landowner with 150 cousins, I’d do just fine under old Germanic law and society.

            For example, I could put an axe in the head of anyone who insulted me, and I’ll only be considered a valiant man.

          • Hey the RC church made killing people a full time job.

            Tortured em first, too.

          • Yep, especially when they preserved and re-adopted Roman Law. Under Roman Law, Roman citizens were exempt from torture, but slaves had to be tortured or their word wasn’t considered reliable.

            This continued until the reign of Caracalla when Roman citizenship was extended to every free person in the Roman empire for tax collection purposes. Then only the “nobilis” (nobles) were exempt from torture, while the humilores (the more lowly) were pretty much treated like the slaves used to be. That pretty much continued for a long time, as the successors to Rome used Roman Law in many cases. Serfdom was actually invented by the Romans as well, under Diocletian.

            So whether you are talking Rome or Germania, there is no possibility of the modern welfare state, the educated populace, or the idea that you had to be your brother’s keeper without something like Christianity arising. Sorry.

            Maybe Zorastrianism would have filled the void, but it would be a Roman and Germanic form of Zorastrianism, so you probably wouldn’t have liked that very much either.

          • Oh don’t give me your church drivel…..the world got on just fine before the RC church showed up. If fact it was christians who sacked Rome.

            Jesus was a socialist…..but he was only one of many preachers who said the same ‘sharing caring’ things…..and the church perverted everything he is credited with saying anyway. LOL

            See….without the RC church, the world would have developed in other ways……without Torquemada, stake-burnings, censorship, and the deliberate stifling of progress.

          • Hehe.. the world got along just fine with censorship, graphic and painful executions, torture, and the deliberate stifling of progress. In communist countries where the Church was repressed, the “second world” got along fine with all those things as well.

            But I do love how modern left-wing atheists are particularly Christian atheists in their moral objections and their view of history as an ongoing story of salvation, complete with the snakes of capitalism and religion spoiling the garden of Eden.

          • I dunno what era you’re talking about….sounds like the last 2000 years to me. The one with ‘modern religion’ in.

            But civilizations and empires were around long before that, all over the world….most of ’em peaceful and law-abiding, and without any of the drek your church tells you existed.

            I’m also not a ‘modern left-wing atheist’……just an atheist….and I say the same thing about all the other dopey fantasy stories called religion. In fact just today I commented on the Ganges cess pool for Hinduism.

            See….again your church has led you astray….Jesus wasn’t a capitalist, he was a socialist…..so are the popes btw.

          • Ha ha ha ha! I love it.

          • No, you’re frantically trying to hold on to your beliefs, and you have my sympathy, but this is going to get a whole lot worse.

          • Am I? Oh no! Well, have mercy and don’t tell me again how the Church has only brought evil to the world, while people like you have only brought progress. I was really reconsidering my my entire life.

          • People like me? You mean the ones who don’t believe in sky fairies?

            Yeah, over a billion of us now. I don’t make any claims on their behalf though.

            We just don’t believe in invisible friends.

          • History’s not your forte, is it?

          • Yes, actually it is.

            What’s your excuse?

  3. I hope not. I’d rather not a Canadian be the head of an organization that covers for pedophiles and thinks that AIDS is bad, but condoms far worse.

    • The papacy is almost as corrupt an institution as the Canadian senate…

      • Somewhat, but a whole lot cleaner than the local diocesan level of administration.

        Now, you might just hate the papacy because it has been dominated by conservatives lately, but the simple fact of the matter is that the “Church of Vatican II” (the liberal and progressive side of the Church) was in the driver’s seat in Canadian and American Dioceses yet also ruled over the residential schools and the sex abuse scandal. So being more progressive won’t help with corruption.

        However, I do think reforms for transparency are needed, and will be quite an undertaking to fight against an institutional culture that is very insular. I think in an ideal world it can also be non-partisan (since both progressives and traditionalists are guilty) and not filled with a lot of hate. But people will be people.

    • “Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a
      last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the
      sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalisation of sexuality,
      which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of
      no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of
      drug that people administer to themselves.”

      “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility
      [emphasis added], on the way toward recovering an awareness that not
      everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.”

      “But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanisation of sexuality.”

      – Pope Benedict XVI

      tl;dr version: If you have aids and you are going to have sex, then at the moral minimum you should use a condom. However, the only real effective strategy for fighting AIDS and other disease, unplanned pregnancy, and abortion is to restrain sexual relations to loving, stable marriages. Throwing condoms at the problem isn’t going to help, because people will still have a risky and unhealthy attitude towards sex.

  4. I highly doubt that they would elect a Canadian, most popes are european

  5. He who walks into the conclave a pope, walks out a Cardinal.

  6. The US would so jealous if the next Pope were a Canadian :)

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