Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Papal landside?

Proving just how little cardinals--at least Italian ones--really fear excommunication for talking outside the conclave, a new book by Emanuele Roncalli (a nephew twice removed from the pope of the same surname, John XXIII of happy memory) claims Cardinal Ratzinger garnered as many as 90 out of 115 votes on the third ballot. Roncalli, like seemingly every Italian journalist, has an Italian cardinal that isn't really that afraid of hell, or at least dying outside the church, which is allegedly the penalty for violating the secrecy of the papal election.

To me, of course, this is another sign of how stupid the whole "secret papal election" thing really is. It isn't secret, and it's just barely an election (with only 120 men out of 1.1 billion Catholics getting the franchise, based on a papal decision to make the guy a cardinal). And, no, we haven't always done it this way. And we shouldn't anymore.

In other news, Pope Benedict evidently donned an aviator's beret in an audience with members of the Italian aviation industry, a sign that his much vaunted fashion sense is surely slipping.


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