Pope Francis has stacked the next conclave – but will it matter?

By the end of the day tomorrow, Francis will have appointed enough cardinals to have created a supermajority at the next conclave. Taken at face value, Francis’ statistical watershed suggests he has ensured that the next pope will share his style and vision. But the reality is far more complex. History shows that conclaves exercise a logic of their own that owes little to the last pope. After all, Francis, a liberal reformer, was elected by a conclave for the most part assembled by Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, both conservatives.