Note that, ranking by nationality, the largest amount of papabili, as usual, comes from Italy (8). Following in the rank are Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Germany (all with 2). The remaining 16 come from as many other countries. Also as many candidates as come from Italy come from Latin America. Of course, a papabile will not necessarily become the new Pope.
When I was four years old, one of my parents, can’t remember which one, and they probably can’t either, taught me that the Pope’s name was Albino Luciani. I don’t remember being taught again who the Pope was until I was seven or so, when my Dad bought the latest Papal publication, Catechesi Tradendae, at the exit of the Salt Cathedral in ZipaquirÃ¡, Colombia. It was a small paperback with a blue cover that bore the picture of John Paul II.
There have already been three popes in my lifetime. The first one died when I was four. The second one also died when I was four. For 27 years, I only knew one pope. I don’t know who will come next. And I’m not even sure I liked this one. But it’s the only one I know. He was there when I visited the Vatican, and I saw him once in my hometown in 1986. Somehow, I will miss him.
Bavarian public buildings, like this one a few blocks from my house, are mourning him.