Looks like the Papal party is over: They’ve got a new Pope. His name is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian of Italian descent. Bergoglio is considered a doctrinal conservative who holds the standard Catholic positions on most social issues: no on abortion; no on homosexuality, etc. According to Wikipedia, he has lived in a relatively humble style, eschewing some of the luxuries available to Cardinals, but I doubt that this will continue once he goes to the Vatican.
The big question will be whether Bergoglio will address some of the issues that are rumored to have led to Ratzinger’s resignation: Questions about sex scandals, blackmail, child molestation cover-ups, and suspect banking practices aren’t going to go away.
If you aren’t Catholic (I’m not) then you might be tempted to consider this non-news. Don’t. The Church has always worked hand-in-hand with government powers for both good and ill, and and the doctrinal decisions of the New Guy in the Funny Hat could have global repercussions, especially considering that almost 18 percent of the world’s population is Catholic.