SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The former Archbishop of San Francisco, William Levada, was among the cardinals in Vatican City Thursday preparing to be locked inside the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Levada’s ideal candidate would be energetic, with the charisma of Pope John Paul, something he said Benedict lacked.
“Probably I will tend toward looking for a younger man who still has better energies, at least for a while, to really to be able to give himself completely to this,” he said.
Levada said it is unlikely the new leader of the Catholic Church will be American, despite speculation that Cardinal Marc Oulette of Canada or a cardinal from Latin America might find favor at the College of Cardinals.
Levada is the first cardinal with Bay Area ties ever to have a say in choosing a new pope, a responsibility the 76-year-old, now himself retired to St. Patricks’s Seminary in Menlo Park, never expected to have.