Pope Benedict became the first pontiff to step down in six centuries. Now the process to choose his successor begins. The doors to the Sistine Chapel swung closed Tuesday, signaling the start of what is known as the conclave, in which 115 Roman Catholic cardinals will pick the next pope. It is a secretive process. The outside world’s only connection is a chimney installed on the roof of the historic chapel. Puffs of smoke are released after each round of voting. Black smoke signals that the process continues. White smoke signals that there is a new pope. The one who is chosen will emerge as the spiritual leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
All eyes are on Rome now. TV print and social media are following the process. Who will emerge as pope and what will come from this is yet to be seen, but the Catholic Church has an incredible opportunity offered to it. The message the church sends at a time when it is so firmly in the spotlight is important and not just for Catholics. As one of the world’s great religions, the church has an immense impact. With the tsunami of scandals that have plagued the church in recent years, this offers a remarkable opportunity to redefine itself and its message, to offer transparency and set a new path forward. Only time will tell how this will play out, but from a PR and image standpoint, this could be a God given opportunity.
And in true pop culture form, there are a number of apps to help you in the Pope picking process, such as Pick the Pope and Pope Alarm. But it doesn’t stop there, apparently millions are being bet on who will be the next pope, when he will be chosen and how many ballots it will take. The papal conclave is being watched followed and cheered on like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards. And the winner is…
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013
Durden, Tyler. “Pope Benedict Announced resignation at end of the month.” Photo. Zero Hedge. 11 Feb 2013. 03 Mar 2013. <http://bit.ly/WEhf9N>
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