Julia Meloni at 1P5 takes a look at the man being bruited about as the next pope:
Last year, Archbishop Viganò alleged that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis’s handpicked secretary of state, was “complicit in covering up the misdeeds” of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Despite that grave accusation, Antonio Socci says that meetings of cardinals about a possible conclave have been taking place, with Parolin as the clear frontrunner.
A year ago, Parolin was also named as the likely successor to Pope Francis in reports about a “plot against the pope.” As Damian Thompson put it:
Antonio Socci, a leading conservative Vatican-watcher, says that cardinals once loyal to Francis are so concerned about a schism that they are planning to appeal to him to step down. He predicts that the rebellion will be led by about a dozen moderate cardinals who work in the curia.
Their favored candidate is understood to be Cardinal Pietro Parolin[.]
Why Parolin? According to Marco Tosatti, Parolin is a progressive diplomat with ties to a curial faction that was led by Cardinal Achille Silvestrini of the St. Gallen mafia. Other Vatican-watchers call Parolin a clear “reformer” — a “pastor open to dialogue,” in line with Pope Francis’s “winds of change.”
Parolin is, in short, a revolutionary without the wild liability of Francis. To stay papabile, he has been “distancing himself from some of the more questionable aspects of Pope Francis’s reign,” according to Tosatti. Sandro Magister has likened Parolin to a fireman, carefully controlling the blazes of this pontificate with his diplomatic prowess.
Parolin is said to have been previously shipped off to Venezuela because of a falling out with Cardinal Bertone, Pope Benedict’s secretary of state. Francis, who had spoken positively about Parolin before becoming pope, soon replaced Bertone with Parolin — who began loyally implementing Francis’s will.
Go here to read the rest. Rather dispiriting, except that the history of the Church is replete with future popes who never became present popes.