ROME (CBS) – Cardinal Sean arrived at his titular church in Rome (Santa Maria Della Vittoria) to find dozens of journalists waiting and somewhat bewildered Italian parishioners.

Photos: WBZ-TV in Rome

Many of them didn’t realize he was celebrating the Mass until he walked in. Because I speak only about 15 words in Italian (and understand even fewer) most of the mass was a mystery. Thankfully, Cardinal Sean gave us a one-minute English translation. He told parishioners that this is a special Sunday as cardinals prepare for Tuesday’s conclave.

Related: O’Malley Celebrates Sunday Mass

Unfortunately, the ban on speaking to the media won’t be lifted until after cardinals choose the next pope. But a spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese says Cardinal Sean feels ready. He’s been reading, thinking and praying since Pope Benedict resigned in an “intense period of preparation.”

On a side note, Italian journalists now believe this will be a short conclave.

In truth, everyone is just guessing right now.

It is still extremely unlikely that an American will be the next pope. The Vatican doesn’t want the US’s role as a superpower or its policies to affect the Church.

But if Roman waiters and cab drivers are any indication, Cardinal Sean has the popular vote. The owner of the 500 year-old restaurant, La Campana told me, “I pray for the Capuccino (Capuchin). He is my guy.”


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