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Yesterday on twitter it quickly became apparent who was:
1. a practicing Catholic,
2. a lapsed Catholic,
3. a member of another Christian denomination,
4. a member of another one of the world's five religions,
5. a lapsed member of another faith, or
6. completely unfamiliar with any type of religious or spiritual practice, but still watching the Vatican conclave and feeling they had something pertinent to add.
For the record, all tweets but those authored by #6 were of interest to me. For the record, I'm a #2.
I did tweet that everything I knew about papal conclaves came from reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. This wasn't strictly true, because 12 years of Catholic school and approximately 20 years of weekly attendance at mass has left me with more than a passing knowledge of church doctrine and procedure. Nonetheless, I was disappointed that Robert Langdon didn't jump from a helicopter just as a bomb detonated above Rome and then proceed to parachute to safety by holding on to a piece of canvas fabric. As an aside: even within the context of a thriller, that plot sequence is ridiculous. But I'm happy that Pope Francis is a Jesuit (who rides the bus!). Also happy -- and totally not surprised -- that Il Papa is from South America, since it along with Pacific Rim nations are growth areas for the church. Personally I was hoping for Tagle.
Or even better: Father Ralph.