Before Easter, the Catholic church should have a new pope.
It’s a rather quick turnaround, as the cardinals have all come to the Vatican and settled to start the papal election in the midst of the church’s holy Easter season. But typically, the church takes time to mourn the pope and prepare for his funeral, as it’s been more than 600 years since one has stepped down. Prior to his effective resignation date on Feb. 27, Pope Benedict XVI amended the rules to allow for an earlier start date for the conclave.
So on Tuesday, the heads of the church will begin the secret balloting to select a new pope. Cardinals have already gathered there for daily meetings and almost all have given brief speeches about the future of the church and who should be selected to lead it. It’s also the last chance for cardinals over the age of 80 to make their voice heard on the direction they church should take — those cardinals are not allowed to cast a vote during the election.
Credible news organizations covering the events at the Vatican say there is no clear front runner. However, within two hours of Benedict’s resignation announcement, the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power started accepting bets from hundreds of thousands worldwide — it’s illegal to do so in the United States since the papal election is just that, an election.
Here are the most recent odds, according to Paddy Power.
Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana: 11-4.
Cardinal Angelo Scola from Italy: 3-1
Cardinal Marc Ouellet from Canada: 6-1
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone from Italy: 6-1
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco from Italy: 8-1
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri from Argentina: 12-1
Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil: 50-1
It’s strange that people will bet on such a reverent process, but it is interesting to see what the public thinks about the rising pope. Perhaps it speaks to what qualities they believe he should posess.
We were interested ourselves in what our readers believed should define the next pope. We put the question out on our online poll question, which can be found each week at www.timeswv.com. Last week we asked “What do you think is the most important quality to consider as a new pope is selected?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• Geography — Someone who will represent the growing Catholic populations worldwide — 2.27 percent.
• Experience — Many of the cardinals in the Vatican have proven their faith and loyalty — 2.27 percent.
• Age — Someone who can connect with youth and not face health issues — 22.73 percent.
• Strong leadership — The church has many obstacles to overcome — 72.73 percent.
May God be with them as they make this very important and lasting decision.
This week, let’s talk about childhood obesity and where the biggest changes can be made to win the battle of the bulge.
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Before Easter, the Catholic church should have a new pope.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
- More Opinion Headlines
- United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project