In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009 file photo, Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, speaks at a news conference at the Vatican. Conventional wisdom holds that no one from the United States could be elected pope, that the superpower has more than enough worldly influence without an American in the seat of St. Peter. But after Pope Benedict XVI's extraordinary abdication, church analysts are wondering whether old assumptions still apply, including whether the idea of a U.S. pontiff remains off the table. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

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