I really thought for sure this would drag out. After all Pope John Paul II changed the rules of the conclave to make it less taxing on the cardinals.
In 1996, John Paul instituted several rule changes, including one allowing the election of a new pope with a simple majority if the cardinals take more than 10 days to choose a successor.
The cardinals -- who are forbidden to leave until they elect a new pope -- used to sleep in tiny, makeshift cells set up around the Sistine Chapel. If the conclave came during the summer, there was no air conditioning to protect them from the stifling Roman heat.
"They were essentially locked into a heat trap to get them to make a decision,'' said John-Peter Pham, a former Vatican diplomat. "It's almost cruel to do that to men in their 60s and 70s.''
Since 1978, the Vatican has built new lodgings for the princes of the church.
"It's essentially a luxury hotel,'' Pham said. "Each elector has his own suite and his own thermostat. The possibility exists for a long conclave.''
Very interesting that it took less than 2 days.
And the winner is?.......................Joseph Ratzinger, 78, of Germany.
And what name will he take?....................Benedict XVI, hmmm interesting choice, Benedict XV was a moderate.
I have to say, he looks good for 78. They say he actually campaigned for the job. Which is good I suppose. Nice to have someone who actually wants the job, and he was a popular choice among the cardinals, winning on the forth ballot.
It will be interesting to see if he will be as popular and as effective as John Paul II.
Anyone have any opinions?