VATICAN CITY - At the conclusion of a news conference here late last year, reporters rushed the stage in the hopes of getting a word with Marc Ouellet, a Canadian cardinal who even then was topping many short lists to be the next pope. As the reporters called "your eminence" and waved business cards in the air, he politely smiled, stepped back and disappeared through a door, stage left.
Ouellet, who had come to talk about the church in the Americas, apparently had little interest in discussing anything else, especially himself. The resignation of Benedict XVI has only reinforced the reticence of the pope's potential successors. In the Vatican, even a whiff of self-aggrandizement is tantamount to sacrilege, explicit politicking is a surefire way to leave the conclave as a cardinal and the non-campaign campaign is an institution in its own right.
Becoming pope is the antithesis of an American political campaign. Nobody campaigns to be pope - at least not openly. Read more here