by Anura Guruge
I am working on a post as to why the next pope may not be a ‘people person‘ — and why it doesn’t matter. I am also working on a post as to why the next pope is highly unlikely to be from the USA — and in this case the issue is that just one-third of the electorate (40 or less electors) can block any candidate. Though many have stated that the clergy sex abuse scandal will play a big role in the election of the next pope, I have started to realize that the cardinal electors, totally indemnified against any and all consequences, may not see this as gravely as we do or from the same perspective — particularly given that so many may have been more involved than we even currently realize.
Papal elections, as I stated in the very first sentence of ‘The Next Pope,’ are unique in there process. Many who ponder as to who may be papabile sometimes appear to forget the unique dynamics at play. This is like no other election. This is like no other electorate. It is fait accompli. Rome has spoken, the election is closed.
The affected constituency, i.e., the Catholics, only have two ways to express their views on an election — with their feet or with their pocketbook. The cardinal electors, no doubt, have this factored in too. the worst of the attrition is now probably over. While numbers may have dropped in Europe, thanks to population growth numbers have increased in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Despite (more likely, probably because of) the sex scandal, the US donations to the Church increased in 2009. Plus, thanks to its teaching on procreation and contraception, the Catholic church can always rely on organic growth.
But, here are the unsaid, sometimes even subliminal, factors that determine the dynamics of a papal elections. It is like no other. So you have to think outside of the box.