EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

March 12, 2013

Conclave to elect next pope opens amid uncertainty

Four votes will be taken per day until there is a new leader

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel today to elect the next pope amid more upheaval and uncertainty than the Catholic Church has seen in decades: There’s no front-runner, no indication how long voting will last and no sense that a single man has what it takes to fix the many problems.

On the eve of the vote, cardinals offered wildly different assessments of what they’re looking for in the next pontiff and how close they are to a decision. It was evidence that Benedict XVI’s surprise resignation has continued to destabilize the church leadership and that his final appeal for unity may go unheeded, at least in the early rounds of voting.

Cardinals held their final closed-door debate Monday over whether the church needs more of a manager to clean up the Vatican’s bureaucratic mess or a pastor to inspire the 1.2 billion faithful in times of crisis. The fact that not everyone got a chance to speak was a clear sign that there’s still unfinished business on the eve of the conclave.

“This time around, there are many different candidates, so it’s normal that it’s going to take longer than the last time,” Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Chile told The Associated Press. “There are no groups, no compromises, no alliances, just each one with his conscience voting for the person he thinks is best, which is why I don’t think it will be over quickly.”

The buzz in the papal stakes swirled around Cardinal Angelo Scola, an Italian seen as favored by cardinals hoping to shake up the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, and Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer, a favorite of Vatican-based insiders intent on preserving the status quo.

Scola is affable and Italian, but not from the Italian-centric Vatican bureaucracy called the Curia. That gives him clout with those seeking to reform the nerve center of the church that has been discredited by revelations of leaks and complaints from cardinals in the field that Rome is inefficient and unresponsive to their needs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Law Signed to Create NYC Municipal ID Cards 7 Killed in Mass. Apartment Fire Denver Gay Couple First to Get Marriage License Baby Hoped to Have Been Cured of HIV Relapses Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family
Latest World News
Raw: Protesters, Israeli Security Forces Clash Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Rockets Fired From Lebanon Hit Israel Raw: Funeral in Gaza for Family of 8 Today in History for July 11th Raw: Palestinian Youth Clash With Israeli Police FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Raw: Rescuers Push Beached Whale Back to Ocean Today in History for July 10th APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match
Photos of the Week