March 2013 Wallpaper

We had wanted to include the start date for the papal conclave on this one, but the Cardinals are taking their sweet time arriving in…

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How do Catholics elect the Pope?

With Pope Benedict XVI’s papal resignation, many Catholics and non-Catholics the world over will be asking a lot of questions about what happens next. How do they elect the pope (again)? Who are these cardinals? What’s with the smoke? Watch our short video answering all your papal election questions, and share it with friends.

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The Papal Succession Obsession

Copies of the February 11 Italian edition of the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper on a news stand near the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)Every day when I wake up, I fumble for my phone right from bed so I can check The New York Times and get a grip on reality. When I woke up last week and saw that the pope was resigning, I thought I’d lost that grip. Everything I thought I knew about Catholicism — where tradition is tradition is tradition — was upended.

It didn’t take long to tumble down the endless chute that is the papal succession obsession. What did it mean that the pope would resign at such a tumultuous point? Who would be the next pope? What country would he be from? What kind of changes would he make? …

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