Thank you so much for the primmer on the ancient process using smoke csignals. Let's bring in cokie roberts. Pope benedict was anointed the successor to pope john paul ii in many ways. Can benedict... See More
Thank you so much for the primmer on the ancient process using smoke csignals. Let's bring in cokie roberts. Pope benedict was anointed the successor to pope john paul ii in many ways. Can benedict anoint his own successor now? Sure he can. If he wants to. That's the question now. This surprise and shocking resignation as opposed to the death of the pope means w have an odd period of time before the conclave. Usually, there's a long period of mourning, which is also a time for politicking. Among the cardinals. Now we don't know when the conclave will happen. I would suspect sooner than later, with easter around the corner. I think that the politicking time period is probably going to be shorter than usual. That will have an effect. You talk about the politicking. There was a saying that the rumor mongering among the different vatican watchers minute the previous pope is sworn in. Who are the names that have emerged in the last eight years that we have had pope benedict leading the church as to who might be his successor? The whole argument is over whether it will be a progresser or conservative. There are fewer and few er conservatives left. I think you're not likely to see that happening. Then the question is, what is the nationality? There have been lots of discussions about latin american cardinals, african cardinals. Among the billion catholics, mo most of them are in the southern hemisphere. That's a huge change. The shift, the politics of the church, the makeup of the church. I think there will be a lot of pushback from italy. The majority of congregants are in the south, there's still a huge number of italian cardinals. Now there's a sense that now there have been two pope, one from germany, one from poland. They're ready for an american pope. What about cardinal dolan in new york? An american? That's a possibility. The american church is considered a some what wayward church. That comes as a s to a lot of catholics. They see us as a source of funds more than a source of popes. Ah, well, interesting perspective. Cokie, we'll touch back with you throughout the day. We'll follow this throughout the next weeks. The conclave will assemble quickly. Hugely important. The other big headline this morning, the extreme weather
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.