8 March 2003
John Paul II is still alive and kicking, but speculation as to his successor at the Holy See is rampant. One Spanish site has already winnowed down the 185 members of the College of Cardinals to an even dozen. (Who was that in the corner muttering about "March madness"?)
Meanwhile, Jesus Gil analyzes the results. What is perhaps most surprising is that five of the top seeds um, perceived front-runners come from Latin America. The Italians, of course, have four, but the balance of power has been shifting away from Italy ever since, well, the election of John Paul II.
It takes a two-thirds majority of the College to elect a Pope. Fortunately, they don't have to deal with things like butterfly ballots.