Papal campaigning, think of the promises

Today is the last day of Pope Benedict XVI’s  papacy. He has already urged the College of Cardinals to make haste and not wait until March 15th – perhaps he read my post regarding the ominous Ides of March and the potential for Irish Cardinals to miss St. Patrick’s Day – to begin the process of electing his successor.

The electing of a pope is an ancient process steeped in tradition and custom. The Cardinals meet behind locked doors, make no statements to the outside world other than a puff of smoke that indicates either a new pope has been elected, or a stalemate exists. But they keep going until a new pontiff is elected – a bit like playing extra innings in baseball. (Dare I suggest the St. Louis team plays a major role in the election?).

One of the many traditions is that no Cardinal should ever show any interest in being elected pope. It’s just not done! So I suspect the badge below featuring Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet that many Cardinals were sporting around Rome recently was created by a third-party!


Okay … maybe they weren’t exactly sporting the badges. But I’ve got a hunch this “Gee .. shucks .. not me” attitude is a fairly recent phenomenon. I bet centuries ago there was all kinds of campaigning going on. If Benedict can be the first pope to resign in over 600 years, and change the rules to allow a faster selection process, why not let the Cardinals campaign? Think of the promises they could make; premarital sex isn’t all that bad, priests can marry (each other if they want), divorce? Why not?

Traditionalists and conservatives need not worry; when was the last time anybody kept an election promise?

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

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