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US diplomats were "shocked" and "speechless" at Pope Benedict's election, because they had not expected him to muster the necessary support for the papacy, the UK Catholic Herald reports.

According to sensitive State Department documents obtained by La Stampa, an Italian newspaper, diplomats at the US Embassy to the Holy See listed 16 papabile, or candidates for the papacy on April 18, 2005, the day the conclave following Pope John Paul II's death began.

The files were released as part of a quarter of a million leaked United States embassy cables which were made public by the Wikileaks website last week, said the Catholic Herald.

Diplomats had drawn up an earlier document for the then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice only days after John Paul II died, in which they had outlined the likely characteristics of the Pope's successor.

The document, which was classified as "sensitive", described the next Pope as a man who was neither too old nor too young so as to avoid having a funeral and conclave too soon, but also to "avoid a papacy as long as John Paul II's".

The future Pope, they believed, needed to speak Italian in order to control the Vatican's bureaucracy but would not necessarily be Italian. They thought the candidate would unlikely be from Eastern Europe post-John Paul II, or America because of its status as the last remaining superpower.

The future Pope, they wrote, would need to have pastoral experience in order to show his human side and be a good communicator with new media skills.

The Belgian Cardinal Gottfried Daneels was among those considered to be the best candidates. They said Cardinal Daneels "knows how to use a computer" and represents the best compromise between Catholic doctrine and liberalism.

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the Archbishop of Milan, was also considered a likely choice because of his connection with young people, while Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos had "organised video conferences with thousands of priests" and was considered "the perfect candidate for those who want a Hispanic who knows the Curia".

As for Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, he would continue to be a "powerful cardinal" and a "guardian of theological orthodoxy", they had believed.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/201...-surprise/
I thought then-Cardinal Ratzinger was a shoe-in. Almost an obvious choice, especially how he handled the funeral of John Paul II.
I see that the United States was continuing in the long tradition of countries politically interfering--even to a minor degree--with the succession of St. Peter.
Dear friend,brothers and sisters in Christ. We don't know for sure what happens when a new Pope is elected,but the choose do not come from humans but from God. If God see that a person is good and fit to lead the Church on earth,he must be the right one. What is it with You,people,what has our Holy Father did against us? Nothing. It is not up to us to comment on what God chooses. I don't understand You,really I don't. We must as catholics live like one,and accept that God wanted us to get the Pope we know have.
Blessings,
Totterman.
From a brief history of the papacy, God does not choose the popes, He permits the popes that the Cardinals choose.
This is a better way of explaining how we can have screw-up pontificates, like the Borgia popes and also the last crop of V2 popes.
(12-01-2010, 04:58 AM)winoblue1 Wrote: [ -> ]From a brief history of the papacy, God does not choose the popes, He permits the popes that the Cardinals choose.
This is a better way of explaining how we can have screw-up pontificates, like the Borgia popes and also the last crop of V2 popes.

In the early days, the people of the Diocese of Rome elected the Pope - it wasn't even the Cardinals.
(12-01-2010, 04:58 AM)winoblue1 Wrote: [ -> ]From a brief history of the papacy, God does not choose the popes, He permits the popes that the Cardinals choose.
This is a better way of explaining how we can have screw-up pontificates, like the Borgia popes and also the last crop of V2 popes.
Dear friend,God gives the Cardinals wisdom to choose the next Pope. And with respect for Your view's,who gave You right to use word like "screw-up" and as far as I know,the Church has never had two Popes at the same time,but I admit I can be wrong. But I say it to You,and I say it to all who reads this. I am not here to get friends,I am not here to show my not-existing wisdom,I am here because God wants me,and I protect and defend all that is holy to me,and I do it with my own name and photo.
God have mercy on You.
Totterman
(12-01-2010, 05:55 AM)Totterman Wrote: [ -> ]Dear friend,God gives the Cardinals wisdom to choose the next Pope.

He also gives them free will and the ability to ignore His gifts.  God doesn't force things on us, not even Popes.  The Cardinals can ignore the wisdom, and His choice can refuse the Papacy and someone else is selected.

It's not like the Cardinals are on puppet strings during the Conclave.
(12-01-2010, 05:55 AM)Totterman Wrote: [ -> ]as far as I know,the Church has never had two Popes at the same time,but I admit I can be wrong.

Well, of course there's never really more than one pope, but don't forget the Avignon papacy. For people who lived at the time, it might have really felt like there were two, or even three popes.
Well, either God wills or allows men their choice.
tim
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