That's question for the Conclave of Cardinals currently meeting to determine Pope Benedict's successor. History seems to have favored European, primarily Italian candidates until Pope John Paul broke the mold. (It's likely historians will conclude his selection was made to battle godless communism and help tear down the iron curtain.)
American papal candidates unfortunately conjure up anxieties of advancing the US superpower agenda. Then there's the shroud of the pedophile scandal that the American news media keep pulling over possibles like Mahony, Dolan and OMalley.
Dolan has already been nicknamed "the American pope” after his election to president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He's been more than vocal about Vatican orthodoxy on abortion and other doctrinal matters and seems to have gained wide acceptance by the Catholic middle.
Cardinal Roger Mahony has never left the headlines or L.A. spotlight, even after his retirement from active office. (Saturday's widely publicized deposition case in point.)
Of the three Boston's Cardinal O'Malley seems the most interesting. He's "anti-trappings of office" and prefers to don humble Capuchin robes and sandals. What's more, he's given up the expenses of stately his "cardinal" residence to give money to scandal victims.
Such humility has brought him notice as has his reputation as a holy man.
Humble and holy would be good for the leader of the world's largest Christian denomination, don't you think?
It would be nice to hear a Pope speak English without an accent?
Though if I was a betting man, we may soon be hearing one with a Spanish or African sound to his voice.