The Catholic Church is looking a lot more transparent and racially diverse than the Obama Adminstration these days.
Before meditating and then gathering for the secret conclave in the Sistine Chapel where the vote for a new Pope will begin, the 115 Cardinals who cast that vote gather to take an Oath of Secrecy. This is the last we will see of the Cardinals until a new Pope is chosen.
This lovely, age-old ceremony is obviously considered a big deal by a media usually hostile towards all things Vatican. As you can see in my photo above, all three cable nets (CNN, MSNBC, FOX), carried the full ceremony live.
Commentary was ongoing throughout.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Alex Wagner, Mike Barnicle, and their guests trashed the Church for being too darn Catholic, especially on issues involving sexuality, allowing priests to marry, and birth control. None seemed capable of or interested in explaining the Vatican's reasonable rationale for these policies.
In other words, it was just another day at MSNBC -- a confederacy of provincial, close-minded left-wing ignoramuses.
From what I saw, CNN's Chris Cuomo played it straight, offering informed context and play-by-play. As each Cardinal took their personal oath, Cuomo and his guests delivered a lot of interesting information on almost all of them, and discussed the odds of who the next Pope might be.
There is expected to be a vote taken as early as this afternoon. Via white smoke (new Pope!) or black smoke (no Pope), we'll know the results. A two-thirds vote will choose Pope Benedict's successor.
Exciting times for us Catholics.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC