April 17, 2005

POPEMAKER:

Cardinals Align as Time Nears to Select Pope (LAURIE GOODSTEIN and IAN FISHER, 4/17/05, NY Times)

There was never doubt that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's hard-line defender of the faith, would have a strong hand in selecting the next pope. But in the days of prayer and politics before the conclave, which begins on Monday, he has emerged as perhaps the surprise central figure: the man who could become the 265th pope, choose him or be the one other cardinals knock from the running.

Any talk of who will become the next pope is guesswork, echoes from cardinals and their staffs sworn to silence about one of the world's most elite and secretive gatherings.

But one bit of wisdom has emerged in the Italian press as conventional: that Cardinal Ratzinger, a German close to John Paul II, has up to 50 votes among the 115 elector cardinals, or at least that is the strength his supporters claim.

That is short of the two-thirds, or 77 votes, needed in the early stages of voting. Still, he appears to command the largest and most cohesive block, and at a minimum, it seems unlikely that the next pope will be chosen without his blessing.


It would seem sufficient that he have a veto.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

Wouldn't be helpful having a German lead the culture-of-life crusade, especially a German of that vintage.

Posted by: ghostcat at April 17, 2005 1:35 AM

The Cardinal looks a bit like the young JP2. In today's world where media images are all important and style wins over substance, he might be a good transition.

Posted by: erp at April 17, 2005 11:02 AM

"he has emerged as perhaps the surprise central figure: the man who could become the 265th pope, choose him or be the one other cardinals knock from the running."

Boy, that's some insightful commentary from the Paper of Record (TM). Why don't they say "We can now report that he will either be the next Pope, or he won't."

Posted by: b at April 17, 2005 1:47 PM

wow...with the conclave scheduled to start just hours from now, the NYT is letting all us "little people" know that it knows that Cardinal Ratzinger is the favorite going into the voting, and that if he's not elected the next pope, he will have a major influence in the next pontif's election...wow! I bow and say "thank you NYT"!

Posted by: Dave W. at April 17, 2005 4:49 PM

Shut up, ghostcat.

Posted by: Slider at April 19, 2005 3:39 AM
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