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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Conclave-Watcher’s Lexicon

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"The media and pundits, as well as churchmen, use a lot of jargon that many ordinary readers, unaccustomed to romanità, the carefully encoded diplomatic language used by the Vatican and its cadre of experts, will not be familiar with. A lot of the writing leading up to the conclave is about the “priorities” of the new pope. What should he do? This is where the issues start bumping up against both the jargon and the factions.

Since the cancellation last week of a series of press conferences organised by the Pontifical North American College, the cardinals have gone nearly silent. With one day left before the voting begins for a new pope, we have only the “experts” and pundits to guide our thoughts. Everyone is trying to piece together an overview of the situation, and the positions of the cardinals on an array of issues, a task that can prove daunting to those new to the Vatican-watching scene. "

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