I suppose even to Catholics, what is goes on at a Pope confab is a mystery.
I can only guess about what goes on from national and international meetings I have attended. People like to discuss the problems they are having back home.
This is not the imagery the Church projects, which is the Cardinals are all praying and petitioning God. But, a local perspective, “Which Pope candidate will help us?” is some of what surely must go on.
A little tension surfaced today when a press story said the different cultures from different parts of the world were not agreeing on how much of the procedings should be discussed in public. The Europeans were against anyone talking to the press, the Americans thinking at least some transparency is an obligation.
The news from the Chicago Diocese was especially grim this week. It needed to cut $10 million from its budget. To make this happen, it closed several schools and eliminated 75 positions in the Diocese office. It will make more cuts next year.
An official explanation for the cuts is that the bad economy reduced donations. But, if this is happening in several dioceses, and numbers of adults and young people are slipping, one has to think there is a least some whispers in Rome about unpopular Vatican positions on issues like gays and birth control.
It is said all politics are local. If that is not true in religion I’d be surprised.