He even has coffee with him:
Almost every day I greet our new Pope, maybe have a cappuccino with him.
Trouble is, I don’t know which one of these Cardinals will actually be elected in the coming week. But it is one of them.
Okay, kind of a tease, Your Eminence. But he goes on to make a poignant point:
One of my brother Cardinals came to Rome with his suitcase, and with an open airline ticket to return home. But one of them isn’t going home. He will move into the special apartments designed as the residence for the Pope.
Smart money says it won’t be Cardinal Mahony. Smart money won’t say who they think it will be. Everything is as wide open as anyone can recall, yet at the same time few think the conclave will, or can, go on for for than a couple of days.
Have the cardinals reached a secret consensus? If they are they are keeping it well hidden.
Here are a couple of articles that give an idea of the dynamics:
- John Thavis parses the various parties, and the dynamics of getting to 77 votes — the two-thirds threshold needed for election.
- Fr. Tom Reese explains why there is no frontrunner.
The assumption now is that the Italian and curial party will stand firm with 40-50 votes that can block any election.
The Outsiders, those cardinals who live outside the Vatican and run dioceses, want something new — but it’s not clear they have a candidate to rally around.
More likely they will split their votes among several possibilities, and then cede to the reality that they need to elect a pope before too many ballots pass.