Fall River Catholics react to Cardinal O’Malley being proposed as possible Pope

by James Swierzbin


Media reports are buzzing about the potential for Boston's Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, to be considered as a potential replacement for Pope Benedict.

Before he was Cardinal O'Malley in Boston, he was Bishop O'Malley in Fall River.

Father Roger Landry of St. Bernadette's Parish in Fall River has known Cardinal O'Malley for years.

The two even met former Pope John Paul II together in Rome.

When talk started springing up recently about O'Malley being a candidate, to become the next Holy Father, it didn't come as a surprise to Father Landry.

He says that Cardinal O'Malley speaks multiple languages, is an evangilizer, and has been among the most vocal bishops, in apologizing for the church's sex abuse scandals.

“Cardinal Sean was the point man that the Vatican turned to in order to be able to right those wrongs.” said Father Landry.

Parishioners in Fall River remember Cardinal O'Malley fondly from the time he spent in their city.

Many feel that his work in their city and then in Boston, makes him an excellent candidate, for the Papacy.
“O'Malley did what he did here and then had to move on and do what he had to do elsewhere, he's been really great wherever he's gone and good at putting things right. He's got a personality and a persona about him, that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.” said Fall River Catholic parishioner Rose Mary Saraiva.

Still there's never been an American Pope.

Even his friend and colleague Father Landry understands that O'Malley's chances at becoming the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics worldwide is slim.

“Even though he meets all the criteria, it would still be a long shot and a real act of the Holy Spirit, if he were chosen. But at the same time, it would be great for the church, if he were chosen.”