What’s the central difference between the conclave of 2005 and this one?
The central difference is that the names out there, I’ve found, are all reasonable candidates. Last time there were a lot of names, and it seemed to me [the press] was searching for names. While there was truly more than one candidate going into the conclave, a lot of the names that had been discussed beforehand in the press were not serious candidates, and we all knew that. This time the names that are before us in the public media are, in fact, serious candidates. That’s not to say they’ll all stay that way, but for right now there are good reasons their names are out there. I mean a reason in terms of the church, and not just somebody wishing for something he or she would like to see happen.
For the record, I don't know who is likely to be elected pope. I'm just praying for the best candidate, and leaving the rest up to the cardinals doing the electing.
Related link: NCR interview with Cardinal Francis George ~ National Catholic Register