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Cardinal Marc Ouellet responds to media at a news conference about his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, June 30, 2010, in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Cardinal Marc Ouellet responds to media at a news conference about his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, June 30, 2010, in Quebec City.

(Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

What if the next Pope is Canadian? Add to ...

With Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet thought to be a potential candidate to replace Pope Benedict, we asked readers what it would mean to them to have a Canadian Pope. Here are some of their responses. Scroll to the bottom to add your own.

That God had chosen the right person for the right time to lead his church. In North America there is a crisis of faith – especially in Quebec. A person like Cardinal Ouellet could lead a wave of evangelization here that ripples around the world.

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Jeffrey Nelson, Ottawa, practising Catholic

It would mean very little to me, as I see Catholicism and religion as a whole to be an antiquated, oppressive set of beliefs. I would dislike a Canadian association with the leadership of an organization that has been linked to so much cruelty, racism, oppression, and other brutality throughout history.

Ian Brownlie, Edmonton, atheist

It would mean a lot for Canadian Catholics. With our country slowly slipping away from religion, a Canadian Pope would certainly give light to the “New Evangelization” Benedict XVI has called for, which is something the Church in Canada needs to reflect with emphasis and enthusiasm. It would bring a new generation back to the Church.

Leslie Gyulay, Saint John, N.B., practising Catholic

As a Catholic yearning for significant change in the Church, Cardinal Ouellet would definitely NOT be the answer to my prayers. His appointment to the Vatican bureaucracy reflected the fact that he is cast from the same mould as Pope Benedict XVI and his utterances over the years have not provided much hope of a different outlook.

Etienne Saint-Aubin, Cornwall, Ont., practising Catholic

A choice that would resonate even more profoundly on a nationalistic than theological level – this non-Catholic is excited at the prospect.

Daniel Innis, Burlington, Ont., United Church of Canada

Absolutely nothing. But a black woman would show some element of change in the dogma.

Tony Guy, Toronto, atheist

A lot. It’s another thing all Canadians should be proud about, Catholic or not.

John Dudd, Leamington, Ont., practising Catholic

A new-world Pope would be an incredible move forward for the Catholic Church. It would be an incredible happening if it occurred, and completely unexpected.

Attili Commisso, Richmond Hill, Ont., practising Catholic

The nationality of the Pope is secondary to his ability to deal with modern challenges confronting the Church. North American clergy shortages could be alleviated by allowing priests to marry and women to be ordained. African and Asian high birth rates in economically challenged areas could be alleviated by not censuring birth control.

Kathleen Donohue, Toronto, practising Catholic

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