Lyndsay Freer: Cardinal factions line up in Rome

Monday, March 11th, 2013

The excitement is increasing around St Peter’s Basilica as people arrive for this historic time and discuss the perceived needs of the church and the strengths or weaknesses of candidates. It is recognised that much is at stake in this conclave, perhaps more than ever before. A number of candidates’ names keep surfacing with the Read more

Politics of the Conclave emerge

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Now that the conclave to elect the next pope will begin Tuesday, a political drama appears to be unfolding behind closed doors at the Vatican, with Italian media reporting that U.S. cardinals are trying to sway the selection process. Several Italian newspapers have reported that the U.S. cardinals had been resisting pressure from Italian cardinals Read more

Smoke not txt messages to signal papal election

Monday, March 11th, 2013

The Vatican is using a mixture of old-fashioned, traditional and ultra modern technologies as it prepares the Sistine Chapel for Tuesday’s conclave. A mixture of smoke signals, and a new stove, blacked out windows, and high-tech electronic jamming devices, are all being used. While the Vatican has not given details of electronic jamming and surveillance equipment Read more

Opinion: Three pathways to pope

Monday, March 11th, 2013

In a blog post in CorriereDellaSera, John L Allen Jr proposes three possible ways for a papal candidate to emerge, getting the necessary 77 votes. Allen’s models are: Let’s get it over with The anti-establishment vote, or The ‘third world’ hypothesis   Let’s get it over with This model brings together those wanting to have Read more

Papal election too tough for number cruncher Nate Silver

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Analytics savant Nate Silver and his team at the FiveThirtyEight blog have hit a wall with the upcoming papal election. They will not be sticking their necks outwith a prediction for the conclave vote, citing a dearth of conventional polling data to plug into their models. Sitting out the most-watched election on the planet speaks Read more

Papal Conclave to begin Tuesday

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Less than 24 hours after the arrival of the final voting Cardinal, Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Cardinals voted to hold a Conclave on Tuesday 12 March. “The eighth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals has decided that the Conclave will begin on Tuesday, 12 March 2013,” Father Federico Lombardi said Read more

Conclave – Waiting for something to happen

Friday, March 8th, 2013

I’ve lived for fifteen years in Rome – though not consecutively. But I’ve had the rather unique experience of being in Rome for the passing of four popes: Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI. The atmosphere at each of these moments could not be more different. Paul VI’s funeral Read more

Media muzzle dampens cardinals’ New Evangelization effort

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Shutting down the US Cardinals’ media briefing is akin to shutting down efforts in New Evangelisation. This is how conservative Catholic columnist George Weigel, writing in the National Review Online, describes the media blackout on Cardinals that came into force yesterday. In the name of transparency, U.S. cardinals had held a series of parallel news briefings with the Read more

5000 journalists in Rome and no actual news

Friday, March 8th, 2013

In the absence of actual news, the 5,000 journalists gathered in Rome for the election of a successor to Pope Benedict XVI are awash in conspiracy theories. Some may have substance, but probably only by coincidence. An example is the question of why three of the four cardinal-electors with archdioceses in Germany were among the Read more

Give us a younger pope with new ideas say US Catholics

Friday, March 8th, 2013

A majority of Catholics in the US want a pope who is younger and with some new ideas. Most saying they want the next pope to make the church’s teachings more liberal, according to the latest NYTimes/CBS News Poll. 70% say Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican have done a poor job of handling sexual Read more