Three in papal conclave have ties to Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Only 11 Americans will have a say in who will be the next pope, and three have ties to Wisconsin. Pope Benedict XVI officially resigned on Thursday, February 28th.

As the conclave prepares to meet in Rome, we can only be sure of one thing: three of the guys in the room know a thing or two about Milwaukee.

The first is Cardinal James Harvey. He's worked at the Vatican for 30 years, but his mom says every summer he comes back home to Milwaukee.

"You've got another pretender to the throne and a native son who is Cardinal Harvey, so you've got literally a person who was born and raised in Milwaukee," Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said.

Harvey grew up in Milwaukee, but was ordained in Rome in 1975. He has spent most of his life in Italy.

Cardinal Harvey's mother says she speaks with him about once a week on the phone, but he never talks about work.

Cardinal Raymond Burke will also have a vote.

"Cardinal Burke who's a head of the Signatura, he's a Richland Center boy," Listecki said.

Richland Center is northwest of Madison. He's been in charge of the part of the Catholic Church that oversees justice since 2008.

The third local vote will come from the former archbishop of Milwaukee -- a guy the current archbishop says may have the best chance of actually becoming the next pope: Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

"Cardinal Dolan, who was adopted by Milwaukee and certainly tremendously popular and I hear among the Las Vegas lines he's going out there 25 to 1 in the conclave," Listecki said.

The United States has 19 cardinals. Only 11 of them are eligible to vote in conclave. A cardinal loses his vote after his 80th birthday.

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