The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Monday, April 18, 2005

10 minutes with NPR: Conclaving Cardinals Congregate

The Story: Now that basketball season is over, the good folks at NPR can focus on handicapping the ascendancy of the next Pope. As such, it decided to talk to some Catholic types about what would actually go on behind the closed doors as the College of Cardinals meets to elect the new pontiff. According to the Catholic types, there are plenty of contenders, but if there appears to be an early favorite, many Cardinals will jump on board, even if the favorite wasn't on their dance card, because appearing unified is more important than waging war over divisive candidates. Although Pope John Paul II changed the rules, which will now evidently allow for a simple-majority election if the first rounds of 2/3's voting fails, those interviewed felt that it would not be necessary because of the desire to appear unified.

My Take: It seems to me that this dynamic would often lead to the election of the least divisive candidate. Strong candidates engender strong emotions. I can imagine that compromise candidates are shoe-ins in attempts to avoid fights over the "leading" candidates. On the one hand, it seems to me that this results in the most innovative candidates losing out because their ideas for change will likely provoke some opposition, resulting in the election of the "safe" candidate. On the other hand, it would appear that the desire for unity would act as a type of minimum controversy requirement, thus weeding out any particularly contentious candidates.

Obviously, the leading candidate would be an outsider -- probably someone with some experience with politicking -- who could bring the church together. With that in mind, I think the choice is obvious.

Update: The Cardinals have failed to elect a new pope on the first day. After a night game at Pittsburg, the Cards will return for the second round of voting, which will begin with the evening gown competition.

Update II: A friend just sent me an email attachment listing the voting as if it were a NCAA Tournament bracket. I'd post it, but it's barely legible. Suffice to say, it is titled Dick Vitale's Popapalooza 2005 and lists the rounds from the Sweet Sistine to the Diocese Duo. All the brackets include cardinals from each region (Italy, Latin America, etc.), except for one of the Asia-Africa brackets which says Duke. Good stuff.
Centinel 11:17 AM #


With all these updates, I thought I was reading Dylan's site, not yours. It was deja vu all over again

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