Happy Papal Conclave Eve; that day before the process of electing the next pope begins when seminarians and altar servers all over the world put their cassocks over the end of their beds hoping to find the pockets filled with Papal Candy in the morning. Okay … that’s not true, cassocks don’t have pockets. Papal Conclave Eve isn’t an actual holiday, nor a Holy Day, but if I were a greeting card company I’d give some serious thought to the idea
The Papal Conclave starts tomorrow and ends when a new pope has been elected. The word comes from the Latin cum clave meaning “with a key”. In 1274 Pope Gregory X decreed that after a three-year session to elect a pope all future elections would involve the electors being locked in a room until they agreed on a pope.
Clearly this is an idea that Barack Obama should bear in mind when trying to get a bipartisan agreement in congress: never mind “Fiscal Cliffs” and “sequestration”, lock Congress in with NO MEDIA access and they’ll come up with a solution quick as bunnies.
Given the advanced age of many of the Cardinals and subsequent weakened bladders portable toilets known as Vati-Cans have been installed in the Sistine Chapel. Okay … that’s not true either
In our age of instant communication via Twitter and Facebook and other social media the possibility of an information leak is greater than ever. Not surprisingly there is a total ban on Blackberry devices, iPhones , iPads and the like in the Conclave. What is surprising is that the Sistine Chapel, where all the action takes place, has been equipped with radio jamming gear. Is it to foil attempted electronic eavesdropping from outside, or do they just not trust the Cardinals? They entrust these men with replacing the pope, yet they fear one of them may sneak in a Smart Phone!
Don’t forget, many roofing companies will be offering Conclave Specials on chimneys for the duration!