Friday, March 8, 2013

Papal resignation and conclave - 11

Papal resignation and conclave – 11




The news we have been expecting has finally arrived: the conclave will begin on Tuesday, March 12. That morning the mass pro eligendo Papa (for electing a pope) will be celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, following which the cardinals will have a moment of prayer in the Cappella Paolina in the Apostolic Palace. Then, in a solemn procession they will proceed to the nearby Cappella Sistina. Once they are inside the chapel, the master of ceremonies will give the famous order in Latin: extra omnes (everybody out), at which time everyone who is not one of the 115 cardinal electors must leave the chapel and the doors will be locked. This, after all, is the meaning of the word conclave: cum clave (with a key). There will be two votes that first day in the afternoon. Beginning on Wednesday, there will be two votes in the morning and two votes in the afternoon until someone gets a two-thirds majority (77 votes). There have been developments in the past two days which lead to two POSSIBLE scenarios:


The conclave may be shorter than expected. According to some Vatican experts The new pope could be chosen on either the second or third day(Wednesday or Thursday).


The papabili, according to some experts, have been narrowed down to four names, the first two we might call "super papabili".


Super papabili:


            Angelo Scola:              age 71, Italian, Archbishop of Milan

            Odilo Scherer             age 63, Brazilian, Archbishop of Sao Paulo




            Peter Erdo                  age 60, Hungarian, Archbishop of Budapest

            Marc Ouellet              age 68, Canadian, Member of the Roman Curia


But don't forget the wise saying: He who enters the conclave as pope, leaves it as a cardinal. Anything can happen. If the electors cannot agree on one of the four names above, they could turn to a compromise candidate.


It will be interesting to watch, and I plan to be in St. Peter's Square for every vote to make sure I don't miss the one which counts . . . the one that produces the white smoke!


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