BY ISAAC BENJAMIN
Since Pope Benedict XVI’s historic resignation, there has been widespread anticipation over the most spiritual of parlor games—guessing who will be elected the next leader of the Catholic Church.
In just a few short days candidates become household names, every day bringing forth yet another supposed frontrunner. This time around the rumored shortlist contains a familiar face. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is the first American to be widely considered a top papal candidate.
The electoral process, known as conclave, is a very private affair. Cardinals are sworn to secrecy under the threat of excommunication. Without the endless campaigning of other recent elections, the conclave presents an opportunity to strictly evaluate each cardinal’s resume. Analyzing their reputations, ideologies and personalities, each candidate represents a new direction for the Catholic Church.