By Tim Stanley, Telegraph
Conclave 2013! has begun and we might see some smoke billowing by early evening. But it’s unlikely to be white – conclaves are long and laborious (the official phrase is "prayerful"). Back in the good old days, they were based less on who you know than who you bought. Alexander VI paid good money for his election in 1492, giving one cardinal four mule-loads of silver. And there was a lot more “theatre” then, too: when the brutal Paul IV died in 1559, Romans celebrated with a riot. To all those who speak of the “crisis” facing the contemporary Church, anyone with a sense of history might very well reply, “Crisis, what crisis?”
Of course the next Pope does have to address the tarnished international image of the Church and to shake up its internal workings. Who will get the nod from God? Here are the five most interesting names to watch (with some help from the excellent Catholic Herald):
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