“It is the Vatican’s 11th Commandment: Speak not of the pope’s death until he actually is dead.

“It is the Vatican’s 11th Commandment: Speak not of the pope’s death until he actually is dead. So when Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the aristocratic archbishop of Vienna and a man often mentioned as a possible papal successor, recently spoke of Pope John Paul II “approaching his last days and months,” it sounded like the start of the official Vatican death watch. With most of the church’s 166 cardinals in Rome for the pope’s silver jubilee, the beatification of Mother Teresa on Sunday and a consistory that will create 30 new cardinals, the Roman Catholic leaders are seeing for themselves the fading shadow of the once-vigorous man who became pope 25 years ago.”