Voting begins tomorrow evening Rome time for the election of a new pope. There will be 115 eligible Cardinal Electors voting. Seventy-seven votes will be needed for election to the See of Rome.
Four of those Cardinal Electors have very specific ties to Southwestern Pennsylvania and our Pittsburgh area. Cardinal Justin Rigali, the retired Archbishop of Philadelphia and our former Metropolitan Archbishop has visited this area often and knows us well in his role as Metropolitan. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a Capuchin Franciscan priest who is the Archbishop of Boston, grew up in the Pittsburgh area, attended Saint Fideles Seminary in Herman, Pennsylvania and was stationed at Saint Augustine Friary in Pittsburgh for a time. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston - Houston Archdiocese was born and raised in this area and was a Pittsburgh priest before working at the Vatican and being named a bishop. And lastly, Cardinal Donald Wuerl is a native Pittsburgher, born and raised in the Mount Washington section of town, a priest of Pittsburgh before being named a bishop, and having served many years as the local Ordinary of his home diocese before being named the Archbishop of Washington, DC.
I am not sure how many other cities can lay claim to those kinds of ties to four Cardinal Electors. We are proud of the deep faith of this area that has given the Church these Princes, and continues to sustain them with our prayers and support.