Monday, April 18, 2005

Ratzinger's Day?

As with many, my analysis of the conclave has been that Monday would be a "courtesy vote", and that Tuesday would be a referendum on Ratzinger. He comes into the conclave with about 40-50 votes locked up. The question is whether it's enough to put him over the top. The decision will be made tomorrow: if he can't get two-thirds, Ratzinger will withdraw in favour of a more broad-based candidate.

BUT: here is Time:

One source close to Ratzinger, however, says the white-haired cardinal, who gave the homily at John Paul's funeral, is letting his colleagues know that he doesn't want to be an early candidate. If no consensus grows around an alternative, he might then be willing to be a sort of "draft" candidate, the source told me. In the secret balloting that will begin Monday afternoon, a successful candidate must receive more than two-thirds of the votes. Often, if a certain candidate starts to gain more votes through consecutive balloting, he can build the momentum necessary to reach the two-thirds threshold. Assuming that Ratzinger truly is not angling for the job, one lingering question is: Who is his preferred candidate? Three Cardinals who enjoy particular respect from their German colleague are India's Ivan Dias, Mexico City's Norberto Rivera Carrera and Vienna's Christoph Schonborn. An Italian in synch with the German's theology is Angelo Scola of Venice. But in the meantime, Happy Birthday Cardinal Ratzinger!


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