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Got The New Pope App? Following The Papal Liveblog? Pontifficator? A Brief Guide To #Conclave Fever

The cardinals may be using old-fashioned methods to choose a pontiff, but there's a slew of shiny new media to prep you for the next Pope.

The special mass that precedes the choosing of a new pontiff has finished and, this afternoon the cardinals will all file into the Sistine Chapel and begin voting on the new incumbent of the Bishopric of Rome. Sadly Fast Company's Man In The Vatican does not exist, but, dearly beloved, we have rounded up a selection of ways that you can get your fix of the spiritual through the strictly profane—Reuters' liveblog of the whole event, for starters.

First of all, let's set aside the big question until later: which cardinal is dope enough to be next pope? Let us start by examining which name the next Pontiff will take as his official moniker. John is front-runner, according to The Economist, and would be popular with both liberals and conservatives within the Roman Catholic church.

OS X users may already have The Pope App. Described as "Your way to all the information about the Pope," it's had five-star reviews, although there was one minor gripe about the webcam feature being disabled. It's conclave, man, that's how the Vatican works!

And now, let's look at the odds of the current runners and riders in the race for the top job. Angelo Scola, an Italian cardinal, is the current favorite, according to the Paddy Power website, although the current cardinal of Rome's chances may have suffered a setback with the news that the offices of politicians in his diocese were raided this morning by anti-Mafia police. Other names in the episcopal bonnet include Ghana's Peter Turkson, Brazil's Odilo Pedro Scherer, the U.S.'s Sean Patrick O'Malley, and Austria's Christoph Schonborn. You may favor nun of the above, however. The Guardian has a nice little interactive Pontifficator tool for you to spin the Papal wheel of fortune.

Paddy Power also has the odds on the new Pontiff's name. Not John, it says this morning, differing from The Economist. Try Leo. Then try Peter, Gregory, and Pius.

And of course, the rocky road to post-psephological papal ecstasy wouldn't be complete without the Twitter wisecracks.

Not more PaPal jokes, please.

This is a joke, right?

Oh, maybe it's not. This, though, definitely is one.

[Image by Flickr user dave_b_]

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  • Pwong

    Mass in the text above should be capitalized. V. Capitalization and ItalicizationA. In general, proper nouns are capitalized, but common nouns are not; thus, the church, thecouncil, the pope, Eastern Church, Roman Rite, Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict.B. Names of historical periods are capitalized: the Middle Ages, the Renaissance; theiradjectival forms are not: medieval. (the adjective Renaissance is a noun used as an adjective andretains its capitalization)C. Words referring to the Mass as liturgy are capitalized, such as Eucharist, Sacrament, butwhen used as a common noun designating a musical genre, it can be lower case: The cyclic massis performed in the celebration of the Mass.D. Names of other liturgical services which are proper nouns are capitalized; this includes,for example, Divine Office, Liturgy of the Word, Vespers, Compline, Ordinary of the Mass,Proprium Missae, but ordinary, proper.E. Names of liturgical seasons are capitalized: Advent, Lent, LentenF. Names of genres of liturgical pieces which are the beginnings of their texts are capitalized:Sanctus, Alleluia, Magnificat, Te Deum.G. Names of genres which are common nouns are not capitalized: introit, responsory, proper,ordinary, office.H. Books of the Bible are capitalized but not italicized, Exodus, Corinthians; but a pericopefrom a book of the Bible used as a genre title is not capitalized: the gospel of the day.I. Names of liturgical books as commonSoource:

  • Anton McConville

    Map showing where the cardinals come from - click on the pins, to see more info, a bio and link to tweets about each cardinal. Made the map with my son - I'm teaching him how to program and experiment with data:

  • Guest

    Please rectify: It was not Card. Scola's offices that were raided by the police, but offices of politicians "in his diocese". A completely different thing!

  • Maccabee Montandon

     Yes, good catch Guest. Sorry for the error -- we've corrected the post.

  • Jess Smith

    Can't believe you missed out on Verbum's "Conclave" app (, well designed, and super informational. Plus, they'll email you when the new Pope is elected. For folks who want to be texted when the new Pope is elected, try 

  • A-lieu

    Chooasing a pope is more a spiritual thing than you think. Don't bet on any one. You lose!

  • A-lieu

    So much speculation who will be the next pope. Whoever the next pope will be, the church will be fine. It is the Holy Spirit who runs the Church!. For a starter, how about a woman pope?