US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Who would make the best pope? Vote now in our U.S. Catholic conclave finals!

By Scott Alessi | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

With news that the actual conclave is set to begin on Tuesday, we are now giving readers the chance to make their final fantasy papal picks in our ongoing U.S. Catholic papal polls.

In our third round of voting, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria was the clear winner, with 44 percent of the vote. Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American who serves as prefect of the supreme tribunal in Rome, was a surprise second place finisher with 19 percent of the vote. As the top two finishers in this round, Burke and Schoenborn now enter the finals. There they compete against the top vote-getters in the first two rounds: Cardinals Timothy Dolan and Sean O'Malley from round one, and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and Archbishop Jose Gomez from round two. Odds are slim that any of these six will actually be chosen as the real pope, but don't let that stop you from picking your favorite!

Among our "celebrity" poll, it turns out that most readers would rather see a Catholic sister in the chair of Peter than any Hollywood star, politician, or otherwise famous person. Three rounds of voting saw four sisters make the finals, beating out such big names as Oprah, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, and Stephen Colbert. Round three saw social justice champion Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK come out ahead with 28 percent of the vote, slightly edging out second place finisher Sister Elizabeth Johnson, with 26 percent. Campbell and Johnson go to the finals to take on first round winners Father Jim Martin and Sister Helen Prejean and second round survivors Martin Sheen--the only true celeb to advance to the finals--and Sister Joan Chittister.

So which of these choices would really make the best pope? Vote now in the column on the right-hand side of this page and let us know your choice!