- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Vatican’s closed-door selection of the new pope is expected to move quickly, with a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI — who announced a Feb. 28 resignation on Monday — to come by Easter, according to Vatican officials.

But don’t expect any leaks in the decision process, according to a report from NBC News.

“Cardinals are pretty shrewd,” said John Wilkins, a former editor of the international Catholic newspaper The Tablet, in the NBC report. “They keep their cards close to their chest. They will make up their own minds.”

Factors they will consider, NBC reports: Nationality. This could be the first pope who hails from a non-European nation, various media report. Also of consideration: Leadership ability. Pope Benedict faced criticisms for his failure to control the Catholic Church bureaucracy, NBC said.

One interesting aside: Just hours after Pope Benedict announced his resignation, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City was struck by a lightning bolt, Fox News reported.

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