They're starting to publish articles and such looking ahead to the conclave now. Here are a few off of the Associated Press that I'll reprint for the curious. I see the first one is talking to Michael Fahey, SJ, who I think is America's best ecclesiologist (theologian who studies the Church) which is why I've gotten him as my dissertation director. In the second one, which in particular looks to speculate on likely candidates, I'll only note that it seems to me that the writer is making a mistake in not even considering or seemingly being aware of those Cardinals who are retired. I've even grabbed this little AP graphic that's supposedly insightful for letting us see the "continental" weight of the Cardinals. I don't know whether the Oceania ones are here called Asian or Australian, so that's not terribly helpful even on its intended level, is it? This is a much more helpful link, which will take you directly to a list of the 117 eligible Cardinals.
Conclave Choosing Pope to Face New Issues
Apr 3, 9:37 PM (ET)
By BRIAN MURPHY
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The last time the College of Cardinals gathered to select a pope, the Cold War dominated the globe, non-European voices in the church were weak and unfocused and dialogue with other faiths was left to second-tier envoys. None of that is true today.
When the cardinals assemble in the Sistine Chapel this month, the questions and priorities considered in selecting the successor of Pope John Paul II will reflect 26 years of profound shifts: the rising influence of African and Latin America clergy, greater pressure to allow married priests after damaging sex scandals and hopes for Vatican leadership in critical outreach between the West and the Muslim world.
These factors - and other internal pressures more difficult to predict - must eventually translate into a name written on the paper ballots used by the cardinals. How quickly a new pontiff emerges will likely be a sign of which issues take prominence in the secret selection process.
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