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Who'll Represent Your Voice in the Papal Election?

Eleven of the conclave's 115 expected electors are from the United States, including the Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, will be one of 11 American cardinals in the papal conclave set to choose Pope Benedict XVI's successor.

Thursday marks the final day of Pope Benedict XVI's term, as he becomes the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign in six centuries.

Soon, the College of Cardinals will convene in the Vatican to elect a new pope. It will consist, by rule, of all cardinals who are younger than 80.

Two such cardinals are sitting out the conclave, which leaves 115 electors, according to a list curated by Florida International University and archived by the Library of Congress.

Other American cardinals younger than 80 joining the conclave with Rigali include the archbishops of Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago and Galveston-Houston, as well as an archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is not a cardinal.

As for how many local people will be affected by the papal election, the Archdiocese maintains tables of census statistics on Catholics in the Philadelphia area.

As of the 2010 census, the following areas had total populations and registered Catholic populations as follows, according to archphila.org:

Deanery Pop. Catholic pop. % Catholic 1-E. Delaware Co. 227,896 88,336 39% 2-W. Delaware Co. 339,311 118,700 35% 3-W. Chester Co., Oxford Region 296,979 79,214 27% 4-N. Chester Co. 219,561 75,022 34% 5-W. Montgomery Co. 413,760 133,000 32% 6-Main Line, Bridgeport, Roxborough 148,284 43,188 29% 7-E. Montgomery Co., NW Philadelphia 362,082 84,679 23%

What sort of policies and approach would you hope to see from the next pope? Do you have a name in mind? Please tell us in the comments section below.

John Q. Public March 01, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Odd headline, that has nothing to do with the story. Nothings changed; practicing Catholics trust the Holy Spirit.
FrankieG March 01, 2013 at 01:43 PM
My thoughts exactly JQP. The Cardinals are not our representatives and we are not their constituents. They are our shepherds and we are their sheep.
MAMurray March 01, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Sheep being led to slaughter by old men who have no interest in the people in the pews.
JamesIgnatius March 01, 2013 at 03:53 PM
You are a knucklehead.
michael March 01, 2013 at 05:26 PM
yep - they lie and cheat. they allowed children to be hurt and only did something when the poop hit the fan. nothing changes, its still all about the money
Tom Bates March 01, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Baaaaaahhhhh...
Richard Weisgrau March 01, 2013 at 09:33 PM
The Catholic Church is an oligarchy with a dogma that is based upon the oligarchs' belief in what is right for Catholics. Followers interests are never considered, and followers are expected to follow. Some do. Some don't. Some leave. Some comeback. No one will represent followers's interests. That is OK since no one is forced to adhere to the decisions or dogma of the oligarchs. Free choice prevails.
David March 02, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Zero tollerance for child rapists would be pretty cool.
R. June 11, 2013 at 01:47 AM
It is so sad when those who comment (like michael and mamurray for example) show how they don't REALLY know or understand the Catholic Church---even if they are former Catholics!

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