In Search of a Pope
September 1, 2004
In this article published in the Atlantic, Paul Elie explores how Pope John Paul II has shaped public perception of the papal office and the resulting challenges media and experts face in predicting who might become the next pope. To do so he explores the work of Vatican reporters Francis X. Murphy (under the pseudonym Xavier Rynne), Peter Hebblethwaite, and John L. Allen Jr. in revealing the inner workings of the Curia and the nuance they bring to discussions of papabili. Elie concludes that in the end, when choosing a new pope the cardinal electors will be looking foremost for a man of deep, authentic faith.