For some interesting discussions of the upcoming conclave see the pieces by “Sandro Magister,” an Italian journalist with a pen name, at www.chiesa. It appears from the April 7 and April 14 articles that a rather strong party, led by Ratzinger and other top cardinals, is proposing quite forcefully less outreach of the Assisi variety and a much stronger emphasis on Catholic distinctiveness and decisiveness, especially in opposition to secular modernity. We shall see.
UPDATE: So Ratzinger himself has been chosen as the revolutionary leader/sacrificial lamb. I was surprised. Quite possibly he was also surprised. A Catholic journalist, I forget who, saw him in St. Peter’s Square a day or two before the conclave and described him as “happy and relaxed,” which suggested to me he thought there would be someone good as pope but he wouldn’t have to step forward himself and maybe could go back to writing books about theology. As it was, I thought he looked rather ill as he was greeting the crowd as Benedict XVI, at least when he wasn’t directly facing the public. A German cardinal reported he was looking better by dinnertime, but he needs our prayers.