Among the "red hats" going out to 30 new cardinals today at St. Peter's Square, Canada's newest cardinal, Archbishop Marc Ouellet of Quebec City will be getting a lot of special attention.
While has spent the last week here continually relating his surprise at being named a cardinal, and laughing out loud at any mention that he may one day be elected pope, not everyone finds the concept risible.
At least one of his fellow new cardinals has said -- off the record of course, as a certain decorum is maintained on the matter of papal succession -- that Cardinal Ouellet has all the qualities to be elected pope, except that he is so new.
"New" is actually an understatement. Just three years ago, Father Marc Ouellet was teaching theology in Rome, after having served previously as the head of seminaries in Montreal and Edmonton. He was told in March 2001 that he would be ordained a bishop and appointed second-in-command of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity -- with only two weeks' notice. After less than two years in that job, he was appointed archbishop of Quebec City -- a clear indication that Quebec was a special priority in the eyes of the Holy See. And now a cardinal. Meteoric does not begin to describe the rise.
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