Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

>>>ANSA-VATICANO/ Cardinals conclude pre-conclave talks

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Vatican City, March 11 - Cardinals gathered at the
Vatican on Monday for the last of the general congregation
meetings before the start of the conclave to elect Benedict
XVI's successor on Tuesday.
The general congregations, which started last Monday,
enable the cardinals to get to know each other better and share
ideas about what characteristics the next leader of the Catholic
Church should have.
Over 150 cardinals are taking part in the congregations,
but only 115 will participate in the conclave because only those
under 80 are eligible to vote.
Over 100 cardinals made speeches known as interventions at
the general congregations last week, with only few speaking more
than once.
Many had still not had the chance to make an address before
proceedings resumed just after 9.30am Italian time Monday.
Regardless, the election process will commence Tuesday.
According to Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schoenborn, the
Catholic Church should have a new pope within days.
"In a few days we will have the new Holy Father," said
Schoenborn. "Without betraying the pontifical secret, I'm not
doing a VatiLeaks, I can say that I have encountered a spirit of
fraternity I've rarely experienced in this week of meetings
between cardinals".
The conclave to elect the 266th pontiff follows the shock
resignation of Benedict XVI, who on February 28 became the first
pope to abdicate in 600 years.
Benedict, 85, stepped down after announcing on February 11
that he no longer had the mental and physical strength to lead
the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
The Vatican said on Monday that his successor was unlikely
to be elected on the first vote.
Observers will most probably see "black smoke" at the end
of the first day of the conclave on Tuesday, signaling that
electors have yet to choose the new pontiff, Vatican spokesman
Father Federico Lombardi said.
"It's hard to imagine a conclusive result will come from
the first day of voting".
Smoke that lets the world know whether the cardinals have
elected a new pope is white, while black smoke means that no
decision has been made.
Lombardi also noted that in 2005 when Benedict was elected
the smoke signaling the conclave's decision, after two days of
talks, came late, after 20.00.
But talk at the Vatican was not limited to procedure.
Lombardi said "a brief report" on the troubled Vatican
Bank, also known as the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), was
presented by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of state
during the papacy of Benedict XVI.
Lombardi said the report addressed the "process of
integrating with Moneyval," which is the Council of Europe's
committee on financial transparency.
The Vatican has been making efforts to comply with Moneyval
in order to join the 'white list' of states that respect
international standards on combating money laundering and the
financing of terrorism.
One high-profile controversy during Benedict's papacy
involved the Vatican Bank, whose head was sacked amid a push to
get it on the UN's list of countries with flawless
anti-money-laundering credentials.

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