NCR had him listed as Papabile (could be voted in as Pope) earlier this year when the Papal elections were about to happen.
Now 70, Rodriguez was just 58 when he was named a cardinal in 2001, and he took the world by storm. We’re talking about a tall, handsome prelate who plays both the saxophone and the piano, who’s trained as a pilot, who speaks six languages comfortably, who’s got a wide smile and genuine charisma, and who’s seen as a ferocious champion of the poor. He’s a massive hit on the lecture circuit and in media circles worldwide.
In Honduras itself, Rodriguez has long led the pack in terms of moral authority and social influence. In the 1990s, for instance, he was asked to lead a commission to restore the police force to civilian control. At one point during the deliberations, Rodriguez flew to Houston for a dental emergency, and awoke to discover that he had been named police chief! He scrambled to convey his regrets.
The story is illuminating: In a time of crisis, he was seen as the only figure most Hondurans would trust.
Worth listening to.
Related link: Kim Hill Saturday Morning ~ National Radio