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     Selecting a New Pope
    Opinion: Religion
    John Paul II, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church passed away on April 2nd 2005 at the age of 84. Elected at the seemingly young age of 58, he was vibrant and full of life, in contrast with many of his predecessors. He was a new face for the Roman Catholic Church and one that will be long remembered.

    As an organization that has existed for nearly 2000 years, the Catholic Church is very interesting to all in terms of its rituals and ceremonies. Probably the most interesting is the selection of a new leader: The Papal Election.

    This is the first time that the population will be able to follow the progress of the Papal election on the World Wide Web. One thing that is fascinating about the web is that you can look up all sorts of information up without having to go to a University or Seminary. People don't realize that the Catholic Church did not just arbitrarily decide dogmas on the whim of some dead lunatic pope. The most learned minds of the time hashed issues out. Like for example, What is Purgatory? The Wikipedia is a decent, but not necessarily authoritative, source for short summaries of different concepts.

    Here is a short synopsis of the Papal Election:
    Selecting a Pope is done through balloting by the Cardinals, in a conclave conducted in the Sistine Chapel. Typically, the new pope will be one of the Cardinals. In 1996, Pope John Paul II published a new document, Universi Dominici Gregis - Apostolic Constitution of Pope John Paul II on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff. As a legal document it is fascinating to read all the dotted i's and crossed t’s. For example according to the document, the Cardinals must elect a pope. It is not possible to just continue on without a Supreme Pontiff. This document strictly governs how the elections will proceed. The Cardinals will attempt to elect a Pope by a two thirds majority. They have four 3-day periods to attempt seven ballots. If the balloting does not result in an election, the Cardinal electors shall be invited by the Cardinal Camerlengo (acting head of state) to express an opinion about the manner of proceeding. The election will then proceed in accordance with what the absolute majority of the electors decides. A valid election takes place only by an absolute majority of the votes or else by voting only on the two names which, in the ballot immediately preceding, have received the greatest number of votes; also in this second case only an absolute majority is required.

    More reading can be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

    Papal betting
    As with all closely followed elections, the outcome of the papal election can be wagered. Now in poor taste, I had jokingly remarked a week ago to a friend that Terry Shaivo would speak again before the Pope. But I didn't give an over/under.

    The BBC has a list of Odds makers opinions of who will be the next pope.

    Some Papal odds:
    4-1: Francis Arinze (Nigeria)
    6-1: Giacomo Biffi, (Milan)
    Dionigi Tettamanzi (Bologna)
    8-1: Dario Castrillon Hoyos, (Columbia)
    Christoph Schoenborn (Austria)
    10-1: Giovanni Battista Re (Italy - prefect of the Congregation for Bishops)
    1,000-1: Father McGuire (the scatterbrained young priest in the Father Ted Irish sitcom. )

    A more complete list can be found here. I cannot open this site at work. So the list is below.

    Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy) 5/2 3.6/1
    Francis Arinze (Nigeria) 11/4 4.3/1
    Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras) 4 4.6/1
    Joseph Ratzinger (Germany) 7 8
    Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (Cuba) 15/2 41
    Ennio Antonelli (Italy) 8 64
    Claudio Hummes (Brazil) 10 12.5/1
    Giacomo Biffi (Italy) 10 35
    Cardinal Angelo Scola 12 -
    Jean-Marie Lustiger (France) 12 15.5/1
    Count Christoph von Schoenborn (Austria) 12 54
    Crescenzio Sepe (Italy) 14 37
    Dario Castrillion Hoyos (Colombia) 14 69
    Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Argentina) 16 22
    Giovanni Battista Re (Italy) 16 24
    Tarcisio Bertone (Italy) 16 29
    Angelo Sodano (Italy) 16 37
    Juan Luis Cipriani (Italy) 16 59
    Cardinal Marco Ce 20 -
    Keith O Brien 20 -
    Norberto Rivera Carrera 20 -
    Sean Patrick OMalley 20 -
    Godfried Daneels (Belgium) 20 21
    Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (Britain) 20 64
    Ivan Dias (India) 20 64
    Carlo Maria Martini (Italy) 20 69
    Jose Da Cruz Policarpo 25 -
    Miloslav Vlk 25 -
    Wilfred Napier 33 -
    Cardianl Ruini 40 -
    George Pell (Australia) 40 129
    Silvano Piovanelli 50 -
    Cardinal Edward Cassidy 66 -
    Cardinal Edward Clancy 66 -
    Diarmuid Martin 66 -
    Jose Mara Rouco Varela 80 -/
    For example, Jean-Marie Lustiger, the esteemed Archbishop of Paris and French Cardinal is 12/1 or 15/1 depending on your bookie.

    Last Rights
    “Last Rights” is another term that people have asked questions about with the Pope's death imminent. Last Rites is the short name given to the sacrament called "Anointing of the sick" called "Extreme Unction" by older people. It comes from the new testament of the bible James 5:14

    14 Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord,
    15 and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.

    You can read a lengthy article on Extreme Unction in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
    Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 @ 18:36:40 UTC by BB
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