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...]

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...]

What happens when the conclave starts? —UPDATED

Some guidance on what to expect on March 12, from Fr. Thomas Reese:  On the morning the conclave begins, the cardinal electors celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. In the afternoon they gather in the Pauline Chapel in the Apostolic Palace and solemnly process to the Sistine Chapel. The cardinals take an oath to observe [Read More...]

What have the cardinals been doing? One of them explains.

From New York’s blogging cardinal archbishop, Timothy Dolan:  Every day we each begin with the most effective prayer of all, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  In our sessions we pray from the Divine Office, begin each meeting with the ancient prayer to the third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Veni Sancte Spiritus, and we [Read More...]

Here’s an idea for how to pick the pope…

How about a six-month time out? From today’s Letters to the Editor in the New York Times… To the Editor: My wish for the conclave is very practicable and would not require any adjustments to canon law. Have the cardinals declare a six-month interregnum and return home and ask their bishops to hold open diocesan [Read More...]