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Growing up Catholic I still have a great affection for the Church. Also with my love of European history the Catholic Church is intertwined with that history. I also view the Papacy as an elective monarchy so it fits being discussed here. So today I want to discuss the election of the next Pope.

Monday the 115 Cardinals met and one of the decisions theymade make is when to begin the next Conclave, which will begin around March 15. They are having meetings to get to know one another in order to make a good decision in electing the next Pope. I am going to post a link to an article that looks at the top contenders for the Papacy. http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/11/16926298-whos-next-8-cardinal-contenders-who-could-succeed-pope-benedict?liteng

One of my favorites is Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He is the head of the archdiocese of New York and is very popular at the Vatican. He comes across with warmth and compassion. Although I highly doubt we will see a Pope elected from the New World, he is my favorite. The Church has gone through very difficult times and it needs a wise courageous Pope to bring the Church into the 20th Century.

I am also interested in the name the new Pope will choose. Selecting a name became a tradition in 533 when Mercurius was elected Pope. His birth name was after the Roman god Mercury so he felt it was not appropriate for the head of the Christian Church to be named after a Roman god. He chose the name John II. In 561 Catelinus took the name of John III at his election and shortly after that this became the established tradition.

As further news warrants I will post on the process of electing the new Pope.