Could Boston's O'Malley be first American Pope?

6:02 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, archbishop of Boston attends a mass held by pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Basilica on February 19, 2012 in Vatican City. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
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(CNN) -- Conventional wisdom has long held it's unlikely an American will ever be chosen to be pope.

But even so, reporters at the Vatican say there is growing buzz about Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

Vatican reporters have said there is no clear choice among the College of Cardinals to succeed Pope Benedict when he resigns at the end of the month.

This has led to inevitable speculation, and his name is coming up.

The 68 year old has been archbishop of the Boston diocese since 2003.

That's when he succeeded Bernard Law, whose resignation was forced by the child sex-abuse cover-up.

O'Malley has been among the most-vocal bishops in apologizing for the church's sex-abuse crisis and reaching out to its victims.


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