Cardinal O'Malley's simple brown Franciscan robe and sandals make him a standout amongst the College of Cardinals, and his firm handling of the sex abuse crisis in Boston has won admiration in Vatican circles. Despite perceived wisdom that an American cannot be elected pope, O'Malley has developed a chorus of supporters for his simplicity, seen as an antidote to the complicated politics
and power plays of Vatican governance, and for his practicality, such as selling off the cardinals' residence in Boston to pay victims of sex abuse. He lacks experience at the Vatican, but does have important experience ministering to the developing world, having worked in Chile and the Caribbean, and so could fit the bill for a pope in touch with the international scene.
Photo Caption: Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, celebrates Noon Mass at The Chapel Pastoral Center February 22, 2013, in Braintree, Mass.