Cardinal’s mother hopes he won’t become pope: “He would not be up to the bitchiness of the Vatican”

Bless her. Details:  Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn’s elderly mother hopes he won’t become pope because she fears she would never see him and that he would be overwhelmed by Vatican intrigues. “The whole family is afraid that Christoph will be elected pope,” Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper in an interview printed on [Read More...]

From Cardinal Dolan: “Arrivederci!”

His final blog post before the conclave: I hope the conclave will not go on too long. All I know is that I’m just taking in a small “carry-on” piece of baggage. If we’re in there too long, and if they show photographs of St. Martha’s from outside Vatican City, my room will be the [Read More...]

It isn’t just the cardinals who are sworn to secrecy

This video from Rome Reports shows some other staffers in the Vatican taking oaths of secrecy this morning, and explains who they are and what their role will be in the days to come. [Read more...]

What do Muslims want in the next pope?

An interesting perspective, from Religion News Service:  Together, Islam and Catholicism represent about 40 percent of the world’s population, so the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world have more than a passing interest in the new pope who will shepherd the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Too often, relations between the two groups have been [Read More...]

Conclave: it’s not just an election, it’s liturgy, “a prayer from beginning to end”

As we prepare for history to be made, some insight from the Catholic Register in Canada:  In all the talk of politics and front-runners and leaks to the Italian newspapers, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that a papal conclave is a liturgy — just like a baptism or a wedding in [Read More...]

How the media transformed the papacy

Courtesy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, blogging from Rome for the USCCB: Jesuit Father Norman Tanner was our briefer today and was quite interesting. Father Tanner, a professor of church history at the Gregorian University, said that media played the most important role in redefining the modern papacy. He gave the example of Pope Pius IX [Read More...]

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...]