Not because so many of the Cardinals are themselves Italian. All the Cardinals, before the election, take an oath that they will vote for the one whom in conscience they believe to be the best fitted for the position, independently of all national considerations. Yet, although there is no law forbidding the election of a non-Italian, as a rule it is to be expected that an Italian will be elected, even by the choice of the non-Italian Cardinals. Why? Because the Pope is to be Bishop of Rome, an Italian diocese, and just as we usually wish an English-speaking Bishop for English-speaking peoples, so the Italians should normally have an Italian Bishop. There is a greater reason wanted why he should not be an Italian than why he should be. Again, the Pope must live in Italy, and if he has to make a stand against the encroachments of Italian civil power, a Pope of Italian nationality at least cannot be accused of anti-Italian national sympathies.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty