I’m not going to be placing any bets on who the next Pope will be, nor how quickly he will be chosen. I only predict that someone will say “Habemus Papam” and the gathered crowd will cheer and the fellow will bless the crowd in a less-than-perfect fitting papal outfit. How’s that for going out on a limb?

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, this doesn’t look much like how things were done back in the days of the Apostles. You’ll hear all about all the “ancient traditions” here, but the fact of the matter is, the bishop of Rome was chosen by the people of Rome for a very, very long time. But don’t tell the folks at FOX News. I guess the “two thousand year tradition” line has been written into every other newscast.

   I will surely be watching with interest. Ratzinger would be quite the choice. You do realize that he heads up the modern incarnation of the Inquisition, yes? Not quite the organization it once was, but that would be ironic, to be sure. But far more interesting, to me, anyway, would be Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., Archbishop Emeritus of Milan. Why? Because he is one of the editors of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Revised ed.). The King James Only folks (aka, Jack Chick, Ruckman, Riplinger, etc.) would have a spasm over his election as Pope. Either he or Ratzinger would keep the conspiracy mills going for quite some time.

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