Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018

'No rush' to set conclave date, says Lombardi


Vatican City, March 5 - Cardinals gathered in Rome
are in "no rush" to set a date for the conclave to elect
Benedict XVI's successor as pope, Vatican spokesman Father
Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.
Catholic cardinals on Tuesday embarked on their second day
of pre-conclave meetings, called the "general congregations", at
the Vatican.
The meetings enable the cardinals to get to know each other
better, share ideas about what characteristics the next leader
of the Catholic Church should have and establish a date for the
conclave to elect Benedict XVI's successor.
Lombardi said that the fact that the cardinals have opted
not to hold afternoon sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, after
holding two sessions in Monday, is "significant" as it suggests
they intend to take their time.
The spokesman, one of the non-cardinals present during the
congregations, said he sensed that the cardinals wanted to
"understand how long is needed to properly prepare for such an
important event without hurrying things in any way".
Until all the Catholic cardinals arrive for pre-conclave
meetings, "what's the point" in trying to pin down a
hypothetical date (for the conclave to begin), Archbishop of
Galveston-Houston Daniel DiNardo said on Tuesday.
All but five of the 115 cardinal electors who are set to
select the pope at the upcoming conclave are already in Rome,
Lombardi said.
All of the cardinal electors have to be present before the
date of the conclave can be set.
The Vatican Museums said on Tuesday that it was closing
the Sistine Chapel, which will soon host the conclave to elect
Benedict XVI's successor, until further notice.
It will still be possible to enter the Museums but the
chapel, home to Michelangelo's famous frescoed ceilings and his
depiction of The Last Judgment, and some other parts of the
complex will be off limits.
"In order to accommodate the forthcoming Conclave, the
Sistine Chapel will remain closed to the public from 1 pm on
Tuesday 5 March until further notice," read a statement on the
Vatican Museums' website.
"During the same period, the Borgia Apartment and the
Collection of Modern Religious Art will not be included in
visits to the Vatican Museums".
The Vatican said Tuesday that three urns will be used to
collect votes at the upcoming conclave to elect the next pope
and that two stoves will be employed.
The Vatican's press office showed pictures at a news
conference of the urns with locks on top that will be used.
Father Lombardi said one urn will be use to collect the
votes, another for ballots that have been counted and the other
is there to be taken to any cardinals who cannot get to the
Sistine Chapel to vote.
They were designed by Italian sculptor Cecco Bonanotte.
Lombardi added that two stoves would be in use, one to
burn the ballots and the other to create the smoke that lets the
world know whether the cardinals have elected a new pope - white
if they have, black if they have not.
"If there were only the papers (of the votes) burning,
there wouldn't be enough smoke," Lombardi explained.
"It's necessary to put in special smoke to show the result
As for how long the conclave will take, Cardinal DiNardo
said that "there are cardinals who want more discussion, others
who have less patience. In general, we all want to finish before
the Holy Week so we can return to our diocese. But it'll take as
long as it takes".

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