Habemus Diem! The Other March Madness

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Church eagerly awaited for the cardinals to get together and decide on a day to start Conclave.

#visualpun
I heard on Catholic radio last week that with the arrival of the last cardinal elector at the end of the week, they finally decided on starting the Conclave on Tuesday March 12th.  Up until the last week, the cardinals have been having meetings among themselves to discuss whatever they discuss as well as to get a feel for who has the potential to become the next pope.  Lots of prayer too.  And tweeting and blogging, depending on the cardinal.
This is kind of a big deal!  Now is a particularly exciting time in the Catholic Church because we’re about to have a new leader! 
Back in 2005, I remember when Blessed Pope John Paul II passed away, but I don’t remember following Conclave that much.  I guess because I didn’t really pay attention to the news, and the social media outlets we enjoy today were still a twinkle in their creators’ eyes or still infantile.  For me, Cardinal Ratzinger came in like “whoosh, now I’m Pope!”  And I was all like, “oh cool!”  And that was that.
Haha but not this time! Now, with a more mature understanding of the Catholic faith, I can follow it with a better degree of appreciation.  The one thing I need to watch out for is making sure that I follow Catholic sources regarding Conclave coverage.  When I say Catholic, I don’t mean “Catholic.”  And I know that secular and “Catholic” media loves putting forth their bias and lack of full understanding in order to impart ideas and desires that aren’t in line with what is truly Catholic.
I won’t hold it against mainstream media, but come on!  I want the truth and nothing but the truth! Honestly, a real Catholic source would know what they’re talking about.  And not only that, viewing the Conclave through a Catholic lens, I’m able to know that the election of the next pope is not guided by the desires of humankind.  Truly, if Catholicism is truly true, the Holy Spirit will guide the cardinals to select the pope that God wills to be pope just as before, time and time again.  We’ve had great popes and not-so-great popes yet despite the ups and downs in history, 2000 years later and hey, the Catholic Church is still around.  Something greater than humanity is at work here.  I can only hope and pray that this next pope continues Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s work in leading the Church.
During Conclave, the cardinals will be doin’ their thang.  I found this article at New Advent to be helpful in what Conclave will be like for them.  And then here’s my previous blog post on how a pope is elected.  But for the rest of us…
…And this time around, we get to have a little bit of fun using the wonderful gift of the Internet!  What madness in March we have!
I’ve compiled some cool things we can take part in:
Conclave App (Android/iOS)
This app provides live video (or most recent recorded video), news, a Twitter feed that searches tweets with #conclave and #pope hashtags, a list of the cardinal electors from New Advent (they’re ranked according to how much “buzz” they’re generating via Google searches), and other resources relevant to the Conclave.
Similar-but-not-really to fantasy football, people guess which cardinal will be the next pope, what day of the Conclave he’ll be chosen, and what name he’ll take on. Prizes are awarded if you get it right! Free to join and explanation on the website!  Also, in the days of before the Conclave, they’ll be emailing fun facts about Conclave.
…I think that this effort is headed up by Aggie Catholics…but that’s not relevant…but thanks and gig’em.
This simple website randomly chooses a cardinal for you to pray for during pre-Conclave, Conclave, and some post-Conclave.  Also provides a very brief bio of the cardinal chosen for you.  Mine is Godfried Cardinal Danneels from Belgium!
A web service that will either email and/or text you when a pope has been elected.  You can also follow on Twitter @popealarm.
Of course, I’m sure there are other fun ways to follow the Conclave.  The election of a new pope is world news, and in this digital age, we’ll all find out very, very quickly once the white smoke goes up in the air.  
In the meantime…March 12 is two days away!
So then…
They see me, Dolan, they hatin’…now they’re seein’ me potentially popey
March madness!
– JD