Now, back to regularly scheduled programming …
We’re down to the Sacred Semi-Finals in our Sweet Sistine championship. Take your pick among Canadian Marc Ouellet, Brazilian Joao Braz de Aviz, Milan’s Angelo Scola and Nigeria’s John Onaiyekan in the race to name the People’s Pope.
Speaking of Oullet, his folks are none too pleased that victims’ advocates included him on a “Dirty Dozen” list of prelates who shouldn’t be pope because they dropped the ball on sexual abuse. SNAP released a separate list of three choices they could live with: Cardinal Luis Tagle of the Philippines; Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria; and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland.
Respected Vaticanista Sandro Magister says he knows who’s going to be pope: New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Because Magister is widely read, that’s either the kiss of death for Dolan or a virtual touch of the Holy Spirit.
Wonder why the cardinals seem to be taking their sweet time in setting a start date for the conclave? Our own David Gibson reports from Rome that they’re preoccupied with coffee and cocktails as they size up the competition.
It’s all part of the unique political dynamics of the conclave, Gibson says. Think of it this way: We’re in the Pennsylvania primary stage of the heated 2008 Democratic nomination fight as Hillary and Obama fight it out. The conclave, meanwhile, functions as the party convention when the result may already been a foregone conclusion.
The word from Rome is that a start-date will be announced today at around 1 p.m. EST. Former L.A. Cardinal Roger Mahony hints that things could start moving soon, but Chicago’s Francis George isn’t so sure.
A new Quinnipiac poll shows that 52 percent of American Catholics think the church is “out of touch.”
File under Significant but Perhaps Not Surprising: Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996, now says it’s unconstitutional and should be struck down by the Supreme Court.
Let’s get ready to rumble: the interim Episcopal bishop of South Carolina is counter-suing the breakaway Episcopal bishop of South Carolina over who gets to really act as the Episcopal bishop of South Carolina. Discuss.
Tim Tebow is supposed to speak at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University today (no signs yet that he’ll pull out, like he did at First Baptist Dallas). WaPo reports that Liberty is now the largest school in Virginia, but it’s worth noting that 62,000 of its 74,000 students are online distance learners.
The Amish folks who were convicted in those bizarre beard-cutting attacks? Yeah, they’re in for a shock when they report to prison.
During the first Passover, the Jews ran from the plague of locusts. Now they’re thinking up different ways to eat them.
The incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has some pretty traditional views on homosexuality (or at least he did as a parish priest in the 1990s) and is not a fan of “episcopal bling,” according to The Telegraph.
You probably saw the tragic story of the Orthodox Jewish couple in Brooklyn who died — and later lost their unborn son — in a car accident. The taxi driver who was shuttling them to a hospital visited their grieving family and the guy who hit them faced a judge last night.
A new study finds that children of religious parents who get divorced are more likely to lose their religion later in life.
U.S. Catholic bishops say they can’t support the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (signed by POTUS on Thursday) because of its provisions on homosexuality and the absence of conscience-protection language from groups that work against human trafficing.
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