Who will be the next Pope? Advice for oddsmakers

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 11, 2013

1. Don’t waste your time reading about the bookies who are already taking bets. The bookies are just trying to stir up a little action.

2. Don’t pay too much attention to the stories in the mainstream press about the “leading candidates,” either. Some offer a plausible list of papabili; others are so completely uninformed that they’re humorous. But all these stories are pure speculation.

3. Relax. With nearly a month to go before the conclave, we have plenty of time to learn more about the cardinals—as, indeed, they have time to learn more about one another. A lot of opinions could change in the next few weeks.

4. Relax a little more. The Holy Spirit is in charge. It doesn’t much matter who we think will be the next Pope. We’ll find out soon enough.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Cory - May. 26, 2018 8:30 AM ET USA

    Shift? Or just the usual speaking from both sides of the mouth? Just one more Peronist maneouver perhaps.

  • Posted by: feedback - May. 26, 2018 8:01 AM ET USA

    Let's hope against hope. "With God all things are possible." [Mat. 19:26]

  • Posted by: [email protected] - May. 25, 2018 10:43 PM ET USA

    It is disgusting that the Church is being dragged through the mud thanks to the homosexual agenda and the lack of courage of so many of our bishops. They have been complicit in so much cover-up. The stench cries out to heaven. The Pope does not seem to be able to control it. All that our bishops are concerned about is immigration. Forget abortion, pedophile and active homosexual priests. It is money in their coffers like the money changes in the temple.

  • Posted by: tmschroeder2790 - May. 25, 2018 6:52 PM ET USA

    A few years back I had the clear duty to inform the president of a religious order that one of his seminarians had led a homosexual lifestyle for many years prior to entering seminary. The president was unfazed on the surface. When pressed as to what he expected this priest to council in the confessional to one who suffers this malady, he had no answer. I found the situation pathetic. Now ordained, I pray to St. John Vianney to provide strength to this soul and all in his influence.

  • Posted by: claude-ccc2991 - May. 25, 2018 5:42 PM ET USA

    Going back to your use of the word "bombshell" the other day, the man called Pope Francis doesn't like bombshells in which he is part of the collateral damage.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - May. 25, 2018 3:58 PM ET USA

    Perhaps the pope is shifting regarding priests, since most of the abuse, at least in the US, was done by homosexual priests. Regarding the laity, a sign of a shift would be clarification by the Vatican that the pope did not say what he is reported to have said to the homosexual victim in Chile. If the Vatican does not issue such clarification, the possible shift may simply suggest that the pope is only trying to prevent further priestly abuse scandals.