[quote="surritter, post:7, topic:318967"]
I agree -- the Holy Spirit doesn't necessarily pick the pope. We know that the Holy Spirit protects a pope from officially proclaiming error in the realm of faith and morals.
My concern was a legalistic one: that despite the promise given at the ballot box, a cardinal may be voting for a candidate that might not be his first choice, but doing so in order to keep the conclave from going on for months.
First choice does not always mean best choice.
Example - a cardinal goes into the first round and votes for A because they think A has a bunch of wonderful attributes that a Pope needs.
But lo and behold - Cardinal B gets by far the most votes of anybody in the first round, whereas A gets very few. The elector thinks to himself 'well, B lacks some of the attributes A has, but clearly has way more support from the other Cardinals - and having that sort of solid backing is a really important thing. In fact it's probably more important than those couplea things where I think A is better than B. besides, I've now talked to a few guys who know B and there are these other sides ro his character that I didn't knkw about before that I think are great. So I've now changed my mind, B is definitely the best person for the job.'
And in the second round accordingly votes for B.
It is about new information coming to light, which it isn't always possible to have to hand prior to the first round.