At the CLR Forum site, Italian law and religion scholar Pasquale Annicchino (European University Institute) writes about the attention the Italian media is giving American cardinals in the run-up to the papal conclave. In Rome, he writes, cardinals like New York’s Timothy Dolan represent the “American model” of church-state relations, which, unlike its European counterparts, allows religious voices to be heard in the public sphere:
Today, the real challenge for the Catholic Church, especially according to many European cardinals, is religious indifference and the coming of a post-Christian world represented by a new type of man: the homo indifferens. As a result, the American experience, which represents, in many accounts, a hopeful and affirming Catholicism, is seen as a success story in Rome. This does not mean that in a few days we will have an American Pope. But I’m sure, like it or not, that the “American model” will matter in discussions on the future of the Church.
Read the whole thing.