By Theodore Edgar McCarrick, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C. He participated in the 2005 election of Pope Benedict XVI. Watch Cardinal McCarrick on The Situation Room today at 6 p.m. ET.
(CNN) - The world is waiting on the next pope in more ways than one.
Everyone, including the College of Cardinals, is wondering who the next Bishop of Rome and leader of the world's billion Catholics will be. But the world is waiting in another, more urgent sense, because the pope isn't just a spiritual leader to Catholics. His work has a global dimension.
As has been true in the past, the next pope will have to provide a moral voice to a range of challenges.