The conclave to elect a new Pope is taking place right now, so I feel that this is a good time to make some remarks about a popular topic: which country the new Pope will come from.
Unlike previous conclaves, a lot more attention has been given to the new Pope's nationality. I am here in America, where all the reporters believe that the world needs an American Pope. Barring that, the reporters want to have a black Pope, because America has a black President.
I tend to cringe, when I hear American reporters say things like this. It's very discriminatory, to say that your country is better than every other country in the world. Also, it is ignorant to say that the Pope needs to be from a certain location. The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter which country the Pope comes from. The list of requirements for a good Pope does not include any reference to where he comes from.
In fact, even if they do elect an American Pope, it will not be long before the American media declares that he is a bad Pope and a poor choice. The media has tried to cripple every Pope in the public eye, for the past several centuries. I see no reason why this would change. Even when there is a relatively popular Pope, such as Blessed John Paul II, the media is very much set against the Catholic Church.
I urge everyone to ignore the media's reports and guesses about who will become Pope. Historically speaking, they're always wrong. If you go back eight years and see the reports about the previous Pope's election, you'll notice that nobody thought Benedict XVI would become Pope. Heck, go back to the 1903 conclave; Pope Saint Pius X only gets a passing mention as a possible candidate. Instead, they skip over him to talk about the American candidate, Cardinal Satolli. Satolli wasn't from America, but he was the first Apostolic Delegate to America, making him the favorite candidate in America at the time.
Who is the favorite American candidate this time? That would be the Cardinals from Boston and New York. Who is the least favorite American candidate this time? That would be the Cardinals from St. Louis and Los Angeles. I have heard nothing about the Cardinals from San Francisco and Chicago, so I would say they are neutral, in terms of popularity with the American media.