When I sat down to write Stones of Judgment (almost ready for publication!) I decided to make the middle of the plot a Papal Conclave, vulnerable to rigging. That seemed like a long stretch indeed, which was one reason why I built it into the plot. But what do we have now? After the pope resigned, so many of the stories out of the Vatican are of corruption and scandal. This is from the New York Times.
In recent days, often speculative reports in the Italian news media — some even alleging gay sex scandals in the Vatican, others focusing on particular cardinals stung by the child sexual abuse crisis — have dominated headlines, suggesting fierce internal struggles as prelates scramble to consolidate power and attack their rivals in the dying days of a troubled papacy.
As you can see I am having trouble inserting the proper links. But I hope to get that sorted soon.