The pope is the major global thing in Italy, but...
I was on the plane. The british hostess wanted to ask me if I was very sad for the pope's death. Because I'm Italian.
Rome, and Italy, are more the home of the pope than anything else in the eyes of the world. The concept of the pope as we have known it until recently, has been invented by the Roman emperor Constantin in the IV century. And since then it has evolved as a mix of Roman aristocracy and global authority.
Lately, it became more of a global authority.
Romans still feel like it is their bishop, but the pope now lives much more in a world perspective. Romans think that the next pope could be an Italian. I don't know if they are right. If they are it means that the Roman aristocracy legacy is still there: but it would seem a step backwards in the eyes of the world. Romans should globalize their legacy to get the benefit of what's happening.
If the new pope will be, let's say, from Brazil, it will mean much more. It will mean that the church is still fighting against American style consumism, which was were Woityla lost his battle. But it will also mean that the church is global. And this is much more important in political terms.
A global system of moral authorities is something that is more and more needed. Values cannot be only left to the relativity of cultures. There must be a global debate about what the people of the world wants to be Good and Bad. If not, it will be a president of the United States the one who says where is Evil. That would be moral power, but not moral authority.