Pope Sonia? E.J. Dionne Wants a 'Mome, Not a Pope'

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal had fun with liberal journalists calling for a female pope in his Best of the Web Today column on Tuesday. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote a piece for the Sunday paper insisting: "It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff."

Dionne acknowledged that "this hope of mine is the longest of long shots," but Taranto added "if he were Catholic he would know that a female holy father isn't just a long shot, it's a contradiction in terms. Dionne wants a mome, not a pope."

Then he added:

But Chris Smith managed to outdo even Dionne in preposterousness. As National Review's Andrew Johnson notes, Smith "toyed with the idea of Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor as the next pope." Said Smith: "Here's a trifecta: Latin, female, American. It would do a lot of good." It's as if back in 2009 someone had the idea that it would be a good idea to nominate a Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court and had floated the name of Jennifer Lopez.

One American who does have the necessary qualifications to become pope is Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. The New York Post reports Dolan is downplaying his prospects:

At St. Patrick's Cathedral [Sunday], Dolan was asked about rumors that he would be named the first American pope when the College of Cardinals convenes next month to select Pope Benedict's successor.

"I'd say those are only from people smoking marijuana," Dolan said.

By tradition, the cardinals announce the selection of a new pope with a puff of white smoke. If the smoke is especially pungent, we'll know who it is.

Dionne also argued. “Electing a nun as pope would electrify women all over the world,” and if the cardinals won't do that, they should at least vote for a pope with a feminine (liberal) side:

I hardly expect the cardinals to follow my advice on this. But I hope that they at least consider electing the kind of man who has the characteristics of my ideal female pontiff. The church needs a leader who has worked closely with the poor and the outcast, who understands that battling over doctrine is less important for the church’s future than modeling Christian behavior — and who sees that the proper Christian attitude toward the modern world is not fear, but hope.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis