Recent, and on-going attempts by the secular press to influence, manipulate and undermine the Papacy is an interesting phenomena. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1996 spoke of the tripartite influence upon the modern mind: technology, economics and the secular press (especially as manifested in "popular" entertainment). It is indeed quaint that the election of a "stupid old man" (as the more vulgar in the press would have it) would become an obsession with the press. Yet satan knows his enemy, and his agents (e.g. the press) are doing his dirty work.
Over the past two weeks, and growing over the past few days, has been on-going and ever more contemptible strivings of the secular press to somehow influence the election of the next Supreme Pontiff. Put simply: the press does not "get religion". Certainly, they do not "get" the reality that the Catholic Faith is a revealed religion. The tenants of the Faith are to them are not only enigmatic, but irrelevant. Religion is to them politics, the Church a socio-political entity to be manipulated like any secular party: can we change the Pope's mind on sodomy, abortion, contraception etc.? This is the obsession of the secular press. Interesting isn't it? The media accuse the Church of being obsessed with sex, when it is they who are suffering from the malady.
Even the Vatican Press Office, with its purported list of "qualities" of the next Pope is shameful. We should recall that the "qualities" of St. Peter were - in a worldly sense - most disqualifying. Yet our ways are not God's ways. A friend said to me the other day that we may well be in for a surprise. I think he may well be right. Consider the past few papacies. Consider the Conclave of 2005: the "experts" didn't mention the name of Joseph Ratzinger.
I have real news for the secular press: we are actually going to get a Catholic Pope. The one quality that is essential in any Pope - not mentioned by the disbelieving press - is holiness. But this is also the quality that should be seen in any believing Christian.