Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Conclave 2013 - News, Resources, Commentary

This post will be updated regularly in the days and weeks to come as we compile news and information resources related to the upcoming 2013 Papal Conclave.

Covering the Conclave: Resources

Papabile of the Day John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter profiles cardinals who are frequently touted as papabile, or men who could be pope. These are the names drawing the most buzz in the lead-up to the conclave.


Conclaves in Modern History: Fun facts, by Deacon Pedro. Salt + Light. 3/11/13. Provided by Dr. Donald Prudlo, Associate Professor of History at Jacksonville State University, Alabama.


  • The key issue for the coming conclave is transparency. Catholic Culture. 3/7/13.
  • Who Will be Pope #266?, by Michael Severance. Catholic World Report After a long month to think, pray, and meet, the cardinals convene and the world waits.

  • Is an American Pope Possible, or Prudent?, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 3/8/13. Cardinals and Vatican analysts are considering the matter, as speculation mounts that U.S. cardinals are serious candidates for the seat of St. Peter.

  • A Quick Course in Conclave 101, by John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter 2/15/13. Regarding the traditional Catholic conviction that a conclave unfolds under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, he opines:
    one shouldn't exaggerate the role of divine inspiration. As one cardinal put it to me after the election of Benedict XVI, "I was never whapped on the head by the Holy Spirit. I had to make the best choice I could based on the information available."

    Perhaps the classic expression of this idea belongs to none other than the outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected. This was his response:

    I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. ... I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit's role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.

    Then the clincher:

    There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!

  • According to Canon Lawyer Dr. Ed Peters, "There are presently 118 cardinals (a papally self-imposed limit of 120 electors is occasionally exceeded), some of them retired (emeritus) from their last posts, eligible to vote in the next papal conclave." He provides additional resources on the next papal conclave here.

  • McCarrick: We're ready for a Third World pope - The former archbishop of Washington at down for an interview with NCR on Feb. 14 at the North American College, the residence for American seminarians on Rome, to discuss Benedict's resignation and the dynamics of the looming papal election.

  • A critical tone among cardinals begins to emerge, by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter 2/15/13):
    Earlier this week, I suggested that because the end of Benedict XVI's papacy is not occurring in tandem with his death, it may create greater psychological space for cardinals to take a critical look at the pontificate, without fear of speaking ill of the late pontiff.

    A small confirmation of that theory has come in the form of an interview given to a German newspaper by Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, one of Benedict's closest friends in the College of Cardinals.

  • On a comical note, Nicholas Farrell (Taki's Magazine) is praying for a black pope. "Think about it: Who better to tell white liberal lefties to [expletive] off than a black pope?" -- while sex-obsessed Hans Kung and a disillusioned Garry Wills give up hope that any newly-elected Pope would reflect their views on contraception and female clergy.

An interactive online tutorial from The Vatican Insider La Stampa)