What makes the conclave a potential mess is Pope John Paul II’s tweaking of traditional conclave rules and regulations.

What makes the conclave a potential mess is Pope John Paul II’s tweaking of traditional conclave rules and regulations. After 28 ballots, the required two-thirds majority may be dropped by common consent to 51 percent. The new 51 percent rule means that almost anything can happen if a bloc patiently waits through enough ballots. This could open the door for the most liberal pope ever. My money is on an Italian.