Abbas has a great post at 3Quarks about Choosing a Pope in the Internet Age:
A reader of this site recently sent me an email bringing up a couple of interesting points about the process by which a new pope will soon be chosen after John Paul II, arguably the most "mediatized" pope ever (see a related post by Joi Ito on his blog here). This is the first time that a new pope is being chosen in the age of the Internet. What might this mean for the process, if anything? She writes:
The choice of the next pope--one of the most influential leaders in the world (spiritual leadership and influence over about 1 billion people)--is one of the least transparent processes around.
[Read the whole thing]
- 117 people get together in the Sistine chapel to decide on the new pope.
- 114 of the 117 were chosen by the just-deceased pope (indicating a lot of value convergence--and also a tendency towards conservatism).
- Little is known about the candidates (most of this information is available in scattered local media). No single (as far as is obvious) source exists to share this information with the broader public.
- The voting mechanism: 2/3 majority required, but under rules brought in by the previous pope, a simple majority can waive this rule and thereby a simple majority can vote in the next pope.
- Now suppose someone built (a) a wiki to pool information about the candidates and (b) an online and SMS feedback system to register the global point of view.
- If such a thing were to happen would this be a good thing for (a) the Roman Catholic church, (b) for the Christian community, (c) for the world?