Cardinal Angelo Scola (Italian, 72). Archbishop of Milan, son of a truck driver. Previously stationed in Venice, and known there for "visiting local communities in an effort to help restore the parish as a spiritual and social meeting ground." [America Magazine] Argues for getting the Church out into the world. "We must have the courage to show our face, to say what freedom really is...and to propose to a civil society an ideal of the good life."
Worked in the field of theology before being made a bishop, started Oasis, a center for dialogue between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East. Has written on Von Balthasar, health care, marriage and the family. Known for his ability with the media. He's been criticized as being too close to the Italian social movement Communion and Liberation, which has had at times an aggressively conservative take on the Church.
Scola has been criticized at times for his writing on marriage and sexuality. Luke Timothy Johnson writes in Commonweal in 2006 regarding Scola's book The Nuptial Mystery, "Nothing of real human marriage enters into [his] discussion, certainly nothing have to do with actual, embodied sexuality." He goes on: "The cardinal's logic, in fact, seems to be that feminism is responsible for homosexuality, because the more women act like men, the more men are likely to want to have sex with other men."
Between sessions, Cardinal Scola practices his Jedi mind trick.
Quotes from Cardinal Scola: "Our job now has to be to help people to remember God. People suffer from a kind of amnesia about God and we have to remind them to reawaken God in their hearts and in their minds."
"It's very difficult to determine whether this is the fault of the world that has abandoned the Church, or the Church that does not know how to relate to the world."
"Theology is born of human experience and must ceaselessly refer to the horizon that this experience sets for it."
"Every Christian is a potential theologian."
What His Papacy Might Look Like: A more extroverted Benedict.
If he is not elected, he could: Become the gruff sergeant on every cop show ever.
In the movie, he'd be played by: Brian Dennehy
Possible Papal Name: Pope John XXIV (John XXIII was very invested in the Church's relationship with the world.)
Why the Cardinals might want him: He's Italian (and so are many of them). He's the right age. He combines the pastoral with the intellectual.
Why they might not: He's European. He's too old. He's too much in continuity with Benedict and John Paul II. (These reasons are hard to imagine.) Plus, he has a wicked glare:
I know Emperor jokes are reserved for Benedict,
but tell me Cdl. Scola couldn't pull off "Strike them down, all of them".