Roman Catholic cardinals gathering here to elect the next pope have focused with unusual intensity on the management of the Vatican, which by almost all accounts is deeply dysfunctional — and at worst may have permitted criminal behavior.
The cardinals' assessment of the inner workings of the Vatican could figure prominently in whom they choose to replace Pope Benedict XVI, church officials and analysts say. The debate also goes a long way in explaining why it took so long to convene the conclave, the secretive meeting inside the Sistine Chapel where 115 cardinals will vote for pope. The conclave begins Tuesday.
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