I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. . . . I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit's role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.
There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!
If you look at history, certain popes have been real scoundrels, like Pope Benedict IX (first elected in 1032).
He was elected pope when still a boy. His reign was scandalous. He insisted upon monetary compensation in order to get him to resign. And then he didn't stay resigned. He was the only man to ever hold the papacy more than once. (In fact, he may have held it as many as three times.)
Without going into all the scandals attributed to him, the Catholic Encyclopedia states: "He was a disgrace to the Chair of Peter."
- John VIII was bludgeoned to death by his own entourage,
- Stephen VI strangled,
- Leo V murdered by his successor Sergius III,
- John X suffocated,
- Stephen VIII horribly mutilated - having had his eyes gouged out and ears, nose, and hands cut off - died of his injuries,
- Hadrian III poisoned, and
- John XII beaten to death.