Bernie McDaid's prediction that Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley would be the new pope turned to be wrong.
But he says the election of a man who reached out to him and other clergy sex abuse victims to arrange a secret 2008 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI would have signaled a church ready to finally reckon with its sex abuse problem.
Instead, Argentine Jorge Bergoglio is now Pope Francis and McDaid sees a church more interested in uniting its hierarchy.
"They're putting their problems first again, instead of the real problem that's causing the disruption, which is the child sex abuse, which they still haven't worked through," McDaid said.
Boston College theology professor Thomas Groome said there's no doubt the support for O'Malley as a possible pope was more than media hype. And at age 68, O'Malley is still young enough to contend in the next conclave, he said.
"The O'Malley issue is not over and done with," he said.
For his part, O'Malley thanked God for Bergoglio's selection.
"We pray that the Holy Spirit, who led us to choose the Holy Father, will guide him in witnessing the eternal truths of our faith," he said.
— Jay Lindsay
"Pope Live" follows the choice of the new pope as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.