Friday, March 8, 2013


Every day the Cardinals gather for our General Congregation meetings, and there are delightful breaks, coffee, and fraternity.

Almost every day I greet our new Pope, maybe have a cappuccino with him.

Trouble is, I don't know which one of these Cardinals will actually be elected in the coming week.  But it is one of them.

One of my brother Cardinals came to Rome with his suitcase, and with an open airline ticket to return home.  But one of them isn't going home.  He will move into the special apartments designed as the residence for the Pope.

Once one of the Cardinals receives at least 77 votes, he will be asked by the senior Cardinal if he accepts the election to serve as the next Pope.  Presuming he responds "yes," he will then be asked, "By what name do you wish to be called?"

The new Pope will become number 266 in the long succession of Popes going back to St. Peter.  If you scroll through the list of those Popes, you will find many different names chosen by them.  And many have been popular names, leading to numbers behind the name.  That's how Cardinal Ratzinger become Benedict XVI--he wanted the name Benedict, and since there were 15 prior Popes with that name, then he became XVI.

I hope that the new Pope will explain the reasons for choosing a particular name.  Those insights will help us all understand his vision for the Church in the coming years.

Shortly, we will begin our General Congregation sessions for today.

I hope once again to enjoy a cappuccino with our new Pope.

Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will unveil his identity for us.