When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, many observers saw him as a “placeholder pope” meant to soften the transition from the beloved John Paul to another. Now, after almost eight years, Benedict has finally decided to step down, the first pope to do so voluntarily since 1294. (That’s not a typo.) It could set the stage for the sort of bold pope choice the church missed with Ratzinger: an African pope? A Latino pope? Couldn’t be more controversial than a Nazi pope, right?
But the one pope I really hope we don’t see is Pope Tim Dolan. He’s the Archibishop of New York and a Cardinal, which means he’ll be voting for the next pope; he’s also been floated as a candidate, though any reasonable person—i.e. not the Daily News—knows he’s a long shot. (Right? Right?) I don’t like Timothy Dolan. Truth is, I probably won’t like any pope: as a resident of the 21st century, I believe in crazy things like equality for women. But my own ideology isn’t in total opposition to the Catholic Church’s: we’re both generally anti-poverty, opposed to war and the death penalty. My major beef with the Catholic Church isn’t over what it believes—it’s with its selectivity in deciding what actually matters. Here’s a quick guide to Dolan’s moral beliefs, from pedophilia (not so bad) to healthcare (bad!!!).