National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Conclave 2013

More stories from Rome on upcoming conclave, Benedict's resignation

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Our March 15-28, 2013, issue is in the mail and on its way to subscribers. The issue features more stories from our team in Rome, but now that conclave has begun, those stories could be behind by the time they hit your mailboxes.

To help you stay on top of all things Vatican, conclave and Pope Benedict's resignation, here are those stories:

Final days of Benedict full of unclear calls for change, by Joshua J. McElwee and Dennis Coday

Papabili who just missed the cut

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Now that my "Papabile of the Day" series is over, several readers have asked if there were cardinals who just missed the cut, meaning contenders I would have liked to profile if time had permitted, even if I regard them as long shots.

At one level, I'm tempted to say I would have liked to profile all 115 electors, so no matter what happens I can't possibly be wrong!

Seriously, however, there are a few plausible candidates I would have liked to get into the mix had not the clock run out.

Beneath the color commentary on the conclave

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To the media, reduced to "Dancing with the Stars" after the Super Bowl and the Oscars until re-entering Eden as the Masters Golf Tournament blooms again, the gods have suddenly delivered a gift seemingly from heaven, a surprise papal resignation and a conclave to elect a new pope.

There will be a new pope by St. Patrick's Day, but the timing was so good for the media that you would think that, for his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI had the same reporter adviser who told Pancho Villa to postpone his revolution until after the World Series.

Round four: conclave of the People of God

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And then there were five.

Three weeks ago, we started with 117 eligible cardinals in the College of Cardinals. Now with three rounds of voting under our belts, we have our top five of the cardinals that you, the readers, think will become the next pope.

Below are the five cardinals who received the most votes in round two. Of those five, choose the man you think will be voted to become the next pope (not the person you would like to see become the next pope).

Editorial: Time for courage from those who have most to lose

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In the opening days of the general congregations, the series of meetings the College of Cardinals convene in the lead-up to the conclave that will choose the next pope, an idea was floated in the Italian press about a way to clean up the governance issues that have plagued the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI’s reign. The idea was to elect one of the over-80-year-old cardinals as pope. Such a pope, a curial old hand, would have a clear understanding of how the Curia actual works and could rein it in.

Governance a top issue in 2013 conclave

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Eight years ago, when the cardinals of the world gathered to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II, their watchword was “continuity.” Buoyed by the massive outpouring of grief and affection for the late pope that washed through the streets of Rome, they felt they had just witnessed the end of a massively successful pontificate, and they wanted to keep the momentum going.

The man who was the intellectual architect of John Paul’s papacy, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, therefore seemed an obvious choice.

French cardinal says race still wide open

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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 insight came from Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France.

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