The Excitement is Palpable......you might even say it's papable. Michael Novak says:"Now that the Italian press is reporting that Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, a hero of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and perhaps the closest intellectual associate of Pope John Paul II during the past 25 years, has already received the support of 40, maybe 50 cardinals, out of the 77 votes needed to be elected the next Pope, it is time for the American media to begin searching into the mind and heart of one so close to JPII....And, actually, my own sources in Rome now suggest that the number of cardinals supporting Ratzinger is closer to 55, leaving him at this early point some 22 short. Some caution should be exercised here, since in Rome counting of this sort is in most cases not actually by head, as is done in Washington by a Senate or House whip. In Rome, estimates are usually made by inference from known connections of cardinals and their close associates. However, some people in Rome (not necessarily with experience in American mayoralty elections) do know how to count votes. Those I know of in this camp are keeping their cards close to their chest. But they do not dispute the published numbers, except to hint that the true number is higher."Santiago
The intimations of a mild-mannered Paraguayan undergraduate, studying Eng. Lit. and philosophy in a small, midwestern Jesuit college.