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Papal Conclave 2005

In 2005, the College of Cardinals met, for the first time in 26 years, to elect a new Pope. While the previous Pope, John Paul II, was famous for his outsized influence in global affairs, his successor will have to deal with issues closer to home. The Catholic Church has lost much of its moral authority in recent years; secularism is spreading in the developed world, and evangelical movements are gaining ground in the Global South. Within the College of Cardinals, there are deep ideological divisions on how the Church should move forward in order to regain its former glory.

Topic One: Dogma: Will the Church maintain its hardline stance on abortion, homosexuality, and female ordination, or must it moderate its tone to stay relevant?

Topic Two: Ecclesiology: Will the Church be led by a populist Pope, giving more power to the laity, or will a traditionalist empower the Church hierarchy and bring back Latin?


Background Guide


Chair: Joseph Tharayil


Joe is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, neuroscience and math, with a minor in chemistry. He has been involved with DIRA since joining the Away Team his freshman year, and is currently serving his second term as DIRA treasurer. Outside of Model UN, Joe is an undergraduate research assistant in the BME department. In addition to his activities at Duke, Joe is the co-founder and Creative Director at Zyqued Games, a mobile app development company, and is involved with several other start-ups.