Sunday, April 17, 2005

CONCLAVE BEGINS TOMORROW

The College of Cardinals will meet in the Sistine Chapel starting tomorrow to begin the balloting to determine the next Pope. This article from CNN explains how the process for voting works and no doubt there will be wall-to-wall coverage of this from all the major networks. There have been a few changes made to the voting process such as the possibility of a simple majority being enough after 30 ballots, plus there will be the ringing of bells when a pope is elected, along with the traditional white smoke. So watch out for an interesting week of news coverage.

I remember watching the network TV coverage of the two elections for Pope in 1978 and I remember the white smoke and all the rest of it. And the one thing I remember is that it was totally secretive, everyone outside was totally in the dark when it came to what was going on. I remember it rather well, because the Papal elections interrupted my favorite Saturday morning cartoons on TV. Instead of Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner, we got the Pope. I must say, it was all highly educational and all that, but I wasn't looking for an education; I got enough of that nonsense in school. Instead I was looking for entertainment. And I sure didn't get it.

Interestingly, when Pope Paul VI died I was actually in London, England at the time with my family on vacation. We bought a British tabloid newspaper and it had "Pope Paul VI Dead" on the front page, and I was confused because I didn't know what the heck a Pope was. I soon found out.

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