By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, March 7, 2013
Conservative thinkers dominate those who vote for Pope
It’s unlike any election you’ve ever heard of.
A conclave has no official candidates. There are no parties, no party platforms, no manifestos, no pledges, not even any stump speeches or slogans.
There are also no factory tours, baby kissing, robo-calls and certainly no banners or bunting.
Nevertheless, it is an election. And all elections cause division and consternation. But speaking of “factions” within the Cardinals of the Catholic Church has lost much of its meaning.
The College of Cardinals for the upcoming conclave will be composed of 115 electors (as of this writing).
That’s 115 men from diverse parts of the world, with their own nuanced values, and their own concepts of spiritual and temporal leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.
That said, John Paul II and Benedict XVI stacked the deck.
Between them, the last two popes appointed every cardinal who will vote in the conclave.
As both popes could reasonably be described as doctrinal conservatives, it means a certain form of orthodoxy, some might say rigidity, exists amongst those who will soon cast their ballots into the golden urn.
Many of the cardinals are undoubtedly dynamic, extraordinarily articulate and deeply reasoned men. Some have highly developed thoughts on the future of the Church around the world.
But given the complexity of geographic, linguistic and experiential differences amongst those within the College of Cardinals, no singular visions appear to have come to the fore. (Source: CBC News)