Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet is considered one of the front-runners for the recently vacated top job in the Catholic church.  If the Vatican were Las Vegas, Ouellet would be the odds on favourite according to many familiar with the inner workings of the church.


In truly Canadian fashion,  Ouellet felt the call that led him to the seminary while recovering from a broken leg he received during a hockey game.  Known as a hard worker he represents many attributes Canadians hold dear.


His recent past has been marked with public scrutiny as the church’s message appears to be falling to the wayside.  Ouellet’s attempts to deal with a drastically changing landscape of Canadian opinions towards gay marriage and abortion have brought about harsh criticism.


All the question marks though haven’t stopped his home town from preparing for what could be an onslought of tourism.  The Quebec village of La Motte, where Ouellete hails boasts a population of 450 people.  La Motte mayor René Martineau has researched what the town may be in for saying “We’ve just looked on the internet at the village from where Benedict XVI comes, they are up to 200,000 visitors a year.  We’re a little village, if 200,000 people end up coming here, I don’t know what we would do with them.”


Since his ordination in 1968 he has been a parish priest in La Motte, a missionary and professor to future priests in Colombia over 11 years in the 1970s and 1980s, a Vatican administrator, a cardinal since 2003 and the top Roman Catholic official for Canada.  For the past three years Ouellet has been the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, the church’s human resources department, vetting and nominating bishops around the world and guiding the tone and direction of the church on the front lines of the holy wars.


While his resume is solid, the questions remain surrounding Ouellet’s public viability as pope.  When such difficulties were encountered getting the churches message across in his home land, how would he be received on a world-wide scale?


Many issues exist regarding the perception and the policies of the church and the papacy, but it would be kind of cool to say hockey helped in the creation of the pope.  Wouldn’t it?

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