I have been totally drawn into the drama of the Conclave, only the second of my adult lifetime. The pageantry and the method of election itself is very intriguing, in contrast to the bland failure that is the selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Anyway, as part of this fascination, I found the blog of Adam Brickley to be very insightful. Brickley wrote a paper called “Cracking the Conclave” in 2008, and we’ll see how prescient it turns out to be. Brickley is predicting a long Conclave this time:
According to Brickley, over the last century, the shorter conclaves have averaged between three and four voting rounds. For the relatively brief conclaves that would mean a successor is usually named on either day two or day three. That won’t be the case this year, he predicts. “The best analogy for this year’s papal vote is 1922, the one that elected [Pope] Pius XI. That went 14 ballots,” he says. “The cardinals then were looking for a steady hand as they were deeply divided.”
Today, Brickley wrote:
Most of the insiders seem to agree that Angelo Scola will get the early lead with between 35 and 40 votes. Behind him will be Odilo Scherer with about 25, followed by Marc Ouellet with around 12…I personally am keeping a close eye on Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka, as he is the only second tier candidate listed by Allen who also made my top 28. I’m also looking for the emergence of an African candidate, as the conspicuous lack of known African papabili makes me wonder if the Vaticanisti simply lack sources with the less-accessible African cardinals.