Pope can't be Canadian, says funnyman Stephen Colbert
Pope Benedict XVI greets Cardinal Marc Ouellet, of Canada, president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, left, at the beginning of a mass for Latin America, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2011. (AP / Riccardo De Luca)
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:10PM EST
MONTREAL -- Is the world ready for a Canadian pope? Stephen Colbert says no.
Colbert devoted most of his satirical news show "The Colbert Report" to coverage of Pope Benedict's surprise resignation on Monday, handicapping the possible contenders to lead the world's Catholics.
While the late-night funnyman acknowledged Quebec native Marc Cardinal Ouellet is in the running, he just couldn't see him in the Church's top job.
Ouellet, the funnyman says, has one major weakness: he's a Canadian.
"The Pope cannot be polite," said Cobert, standing in front of his "Papal Speculatron 7500."
"I'm sorry but 'I think God might not want you to use a condom, eh' won't work."
He also said nobody wants a Pope who might replace the traditional golden staff, while a doctored photo showed Ouellet in papal robes holding a Team Canada hockey stick.
The satirical newsman frequently needles America's northern neighbour on his show.
Ouellet, named a cardinal in 2003 by Pope John Paul II, was tabbed by Pope Benedict in 2010 to head the powerful Congregation for Bishops, which vets nominations for bishops worldwide. Foreign bookmakers have ranked him as one of the most likely candidates to take over from Pope Benedict.
Colbert also mentioned Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, and Peter Cardinal Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as contenders.
But they didn't get the Colbert Bump, which is his highest endorsement.
That went to Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, someone Colbert described as "a BFF -- Bishop Friend Forever."
"After all, God's an American," Colbert explained. "That's why the Bible is in English."