The case for a Dolan papacy: “Evangelization on steroids”

John Allen today looks at three American cardinals who are getting some papal buzz, and what he says about New York’s Timothy Dolan is especially entertaining: What’s the case for Dolan? First, he’s evangelization on steroids. He’s easily the most charismatic, media savvy and engaging personality among the 115 cardinals who file into the Sistine [Read More...]

French cardinal: no consensus candidate yet

From John Allen:  Journalists are often derided as a fairly un-churched bunch, but yesterday the 5,000-plus reporters covering the conclave swelled the churches of Rome to catch a glimpse of cardinals saying Mass, hoping to pick up some hint of what to expect when things get underway tomorrow. On that front, probably the most interesting [Read More...]

Brush up your Latin: the first hint at who is the new pope

From Catholic News Service blog:  The first clue to the identity of the new pope will be the announcement of his first name — in Latin, in the accusative case. If he is not the one chosen, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the top-ranked cardinal-deacon, will say, in Latin, “I announce to you a great joy. [Read More...]

The Donilon brothers: one’s boss is the President, the other’s may be the next pope

Here’s something you don’t hear about every day. From the Washington Post:  Shortly after arriving in Rome with his boss, dark horse papal contender Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Terrence Donilon received an e-mail. It was from his brother Tom, the national security adviser to President Obama. “How’s it going?” the top White House official asked. The answer is: [Read More...]

What can a pope change? Not as much as some people think.—UPDATED

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gives some welcome perspective on what is unfolding in Rome this week: As the world awaits a new pope, polls are taken, essays written and hopes expressed for what he might change. Priestly celibacy? Contraception? The working language of the Vatican Press Office? The latter would be most feasible, [Read More...]

Next pope? Leading Italian paper favors Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley

And John Allen explains why: If the readers of Italy’s paper of record, Corriere della Sera, had any say in the matter, the choice for the next pope would be clear: Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. Corriere today asked eight contributors, including their own Vatican beat writers as well as noted Vatican-watchers, to name their top three [Read More...]

Check out this tour of the Casa Santa Marta, where the cardinals will be staying

Want a peek at where the electors will be staying?  How about a glimpse inside the apartment of the next pope? Here’s an intriguing video of the place the cardinals will be calling home next week, courtesy Rome Reports. [Read more...]

Welcome to the first “virtual conclave”

Technology is having a dramatic impact in how the faithful follow the coming election for pope, as AP notes:  A pastor in Ontario wondered about behind-the-scenes politicking ahead of the conclave to elect the next pope. He could have read news reports or listened to briefings by the Vatican spokesman. Instead, he asked a cardinal. [Read More...]

Are women already running the Church?

An interesting perspective from writer Ashley McGuire in the Washington Post:  With the Catholic Church at the forefront of international news given recent events, many are using the opportunity to frame the Vatican and the Catholic Church more broadly as a place that excludes women. The next pope will be a man elected by 115 men, [Read More...]

On the new pope’s “to do” list: a few ideas

A few suggestions from veteran Vatican watcher John Thavis, in USA TODAY:  There’s an appetite for change even inside the Vatican, particularly when it comes to the way the pope manages his bureaucratic apparatus, the Roman Curia. Based on ideas that Vatican officials have floated in conversations over the last two weeks, here are seven [Read More...]