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Learning Moments: Delco School Holds A Mock Papal Conclave

(Credit: David Madden)

(Credit: David Madden)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

RIDLEY PARK, Pa. (CBS) — A Catholic school in Delaware County today brought home the drama now playing out in their mother church by holding their own (mock) papal conclave.

There were 30 “cardinals” at St. James Regional School today, with the rest of the student body observing.

“We incorporated math, religion, science, vocabulary, music and art, and social studies in this lesson,” said Father Louis Bellopede, who put this event together.

In this case both boys and girls took part in the vote, which didn’t take long.  After just two ballots Fr. Bellopede announced, “We have a pope!”

(Fr. Louis Bellopede with St. James Regional School's new "pope," Michael Chartier.  Credit: David Madden)

(Fr. Louis Bellopede with St. James Regional School’s new “pope,” Michael Chartier. Credit: David Madden)

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It was eighth grader Michael Chartier, who took the name Pope Januarius I.

“Well, that was my confirmation name,” he explained.  “My mother helped me pick that out.”

He promised his classmates that he’d use that name if he got the 21 votes needed — two thirds plus one, as every Vatican watcher knows.