Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Firefighters, right, place the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, where cardinals will gather to elect the new pope, at the Vatican on Saturday. The preliminaries over, Catholic cardinals are ready to get down to the real business of choosing a pope. And even without a front-runner, there are indications they will go into the conclave Tuesday with a good idea of their top picks.
The Holy See's internal governance has been a constant theme in these days of discussion, an indication that the revelations of corruption, political infighting and turf battles exposed by the leaks of papal documents last year are casting a very big shadow over this conclave.
The attention the issue has received suggests the cardinals will want a good manager in a pope — or at least a pope who would appoint a good manager as his secretary of state, the key administration job in the Vatican.
Another round of secret consultations is scheduled for Monday, the last day before the conclave.
Lombardi, meanwhile, confirmed that the bells of St. Peter's Basilica would ring once a pope has been elected, though he acknowledged that there will always be some uncertainty in the whole endeavor. In 2005, it wasn't clear if the smoke coming out of the chimney was black or white and whether or not the bells were ringing for a pope or simply because the clock had struck noon.
"This is the beauty of these events, that is to say, having a minimum of suspense," Lombardi said. "A few minutes (of uncertainty) are more interesting than if everything happened like a Swiss watch."
AP religion reporter Rachel Zoll contributed to this report.