Why it's such a big deal is obvious, the Catholic church is massive. Complaining about it is just being oblivious to that fact.
Personally, I don't care.
"I am not among those who fear the people. They and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1816 "[F]acts are before ideas." -- Mikhail Bakunin, 1882
I am somewhere halfway. For one, I'm not catholic... so I shouldn't care... and I don't really. I mean, whether I find out on the day he was elected, who the new Pope is... or a week later, or a month later, it still makes little difference in my life. But I do think its nice to know who the main figureheads are in the world. Lets hope this new pope will be better than the old last one... at least as good as the one before that.
As far as news goes, I've seen them cover celebrity weddings and babies with just as much gusto and I think the choosing of the next pope is slightly more important, so let them cover it all they want, I just won't be listening as they do it.
To me it's not important, the church will still do a good bit of charity while still being stuck in the dark ages on certain issues and continue changing their infallible opinion as societal opinions change and progress. It doesn't matter who is the leader, and it doesn't matter if the leader is black or hispanic or Italian. They will continue hiding and aiding child rapists if it benefits them.
Honestly, I don't even understand why Catholics even care. My wife's family is Catholic, and they are acting like this is the most important thing on earth, but if you ask any of them individually if they think the Pope really represents the infallible word of God, they all say no. And in reality, you have to say no, unless you think god changes his opinions on social matters based on what Pope is elected.
I pay virtually no attention to it, they're just going to elect another pedophile apologist anyhow, that's all the Catholic Church is these days.
I hadn't thought much about it.
But I suppose it would be great if the new Pope could rescind the aversion to birth control and start preaching family-planning responsibility, maybe do away with that "go into all the corners of the earth and multiply" edict that's doing so much population mismanagement harm especially in places like, well, Mexico City, that's spread so virulently here in recent decades, and heck, maybe even stump for the new conception-prevention state-of-the-art pharmaceuticals held up in FDA testing and making them affordable to everyone .. etc. ...
The Pope has a lot of influence power.
If he used it for the benefit of all humanity, courageously so, he could do a lot of good in the world.
When the election is over and we open our eyes, it will sadly be too late to wonder what the hell just happened.
I'm a history buff and although I'm not Catholic I'm interested in the story considering we might get to watch history made as the next Pope could be from the US, Latin America or Africa and how that shift in the historical norm of most Popes being European will impact society around the world.
Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011
Do I personally care? No. I'm not catholic.
Do I think it's an important issue? Hell yes, as the catholic church, as an organization, is a huge, powerful one.
"God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
-C G Jung
For non Catholics, like me, there is far too much news coverage of electing the next Pope. It absolutely amazes me that this is covered by political cable, and mainstream news. What has the Pope to do with politics?
1/3rd of our population is Catholic. Why do the 2/3rds have to be tortured?
Nothing in excess.