Papal Conclave Figured Out

Thursday, March 14, 2013

For literally hundreds, maybe thousands of years people have wondered what goes on in the Papal conclave. Well I think I have figured it out!

You know those work conferences, where employees from offices all over the world meet up in some hotel in the middle of nowhere and spend the weekend bonding? That’s exactly what it’s like.

Upon the call, Cardinals show up from around the world and descend on Vatican City. Upon meeting in the lobby of their quarters, Cardinal Dolan says to Cardinal Ricard “we’ve been emailing for all these years, it’s so good to see you in person.” Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles tweeted about the diversity of the Cardinals, many of whom were meeting each other for the first time: "Fascinating meeting Cardinals from all around the world. Stories and needs so different [1].

The tweeting didn’t last long; a strict “no social media” was imposed to keep this secret party conclave under wraps. Luckily, most of the Cards had googled and facebook friended each other before conclave to figure out who the pope-ular ones were. Once all the cardinals are checked in to the Vatican Hotel, they congregate for some ice-breakers and team-building exercises before the buffet dinner. (The Cardinals better leave some room for the chocolate fountain). Most of the first day is spent catching up; most of these guys haven’t seen each other since 2005.

They next few days are just like camp, there are days full of Arts & Crafts where they try to put together new sculptures for St. Pieter’s Square, an afternoon swim and a choice of photography or prayer sessions.

Evening activities are the best part, and what really seals the deal on the next Pope. One night, a disco ball hangs from the Sistine Chapel and they dance the night away. I mean have you seen Michelangelo’s frescoes? Talk about a party. Rumor has it, the first vote is based on the best dancer from disco night.

Until everyone arrives, and it's voting time, the Cards spend their days socializing. And the food! So much to go around. All meals are served in The Pauline Ballroom Chapel - catered breakfast, lunch, dinners plus snacks. On the first voting day, once the last Cardinals have rolled into the chapel, usually wearing pajamas, it’s time to make the first vote for best dancer; here is where top contenders emerged.

Second and third votes (for this year) were based on the evening activities throughout the conclave festivities for karaoke and guitar hero respectively to reduce the number of nominees. By the middle of voting day 2, there were only two left, so a Dance Dance Revolution dance-off determined that Jorge Mario Bergoglio be the winner! Pope!

[1]This is straight from the very reliable


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