President Barack Obama leaves the Capitol in Washington, after visiting with Senate Democrats in in the first of four meetings with lawmakers this week to discuss the budget, Tuesday, March 12, 2013 (Photo: AP)
US President Barack Obama said in an interview aired Wednesday that a US pope would be just as effective as one of another nationality.
"It seems to me that an American pope would preside just as effectively as a Polish pope or an Italian pope or a Guatemalan pope," Obama said, though noted he had no idea how seriously such an issue was being discussed.
"I don't know if you've checked lately, but the conference of Catholic bishops here in the United States don't seem to be taking orders from me," Obama said in an interview with ABC News.
A new plume of black smoke over the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican on Wednesday indicated that Catholic cardinals had failed, after three rounds of voting, to elect a new leader for their 1.2 billion-strong Church.