Sunday, March 3, 2013

What Is A Conclave? A Helpful Resource Book

For those who are interested in learning more about what will be happening in Rome concerning the Papal Election, I would recommend a book “Conclave.”  The author is John L. Allen, Jr., a reporter and columnist for the National Catholic Reporter.  He wrote the book during the last years of the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II.  In it he outlines briefly what the roles of a modern Pope are; what happens when a Pope dies (in this case Pope John Paul II), and the process of electing a successor.  He outlines what qualities the cardinals, in general, would look for in a Pope.  He addressed the issues facing the Church, at least during 2005.  Some of those issues are still relevant for our current times.  However, the book is, in parts, dated.  Allen provides biographies of those cardinals, who would have been considered at that time, frontrunners.  It is interesting that in 2002, Allen did not consider Cardinal Ratzinger as one of those frontrunners. 

Still Allen is provides a lot of interesting information, some fascinating facts, and insider information, about what the Vatican is like during the time leading up to the election of a new Successor of St. Peter.  I would highly recommend this book.

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