WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although his topic was what issues Pope John Paul II’s successor will face, George Weigel told a Washington audience that after an eight-day visit to Rome he is convinced that as the pope, who is 84 and in frail health, enters the 27th year of his pontificate he is still in full control of the papacy and his death is not imminent.
Before he talked about the next pope, Weigel examined the conclave that will elect him.
"It will be a conclave in which the legacy of John Paul II looms very large," the scholar and author told an audience of about 200.
He quoted an acquaintance who is an atheist: "In 1978, I could have cared less who the next pope would be.
Now it means something to me personally." [Source]