Wednesday, March 6, 2013

No date yet for conclave

Vatican's PR priests explain that 113 of 115 elector-cardinals now present

Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, listens as Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, translates the Holy See's press statement into English. (Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic)

VATICAN CITY--Although 113 of the 115 cardinals who can vote for a new Pontiff are now in Rome, the Vatican still has not set a date for the conclave. At a press conference March 6, Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, handled the English statements.

This is a journey," he said in response to repeated questions on why the Holy See has not announced when the conclave will begin.

The Canadian priest clarified that although German Cardinal Walter Kasper turned 80 March 5, that "fact would not exclude him from voting."

Only cardinals who turn 80 before the day St. Peter's throne becomes vacant are barred from voting.

Father Rosica also commented on the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez: "Since the Church is currently without a Pontiff, it's up to the college of cardinals to send a message."

He did not say whether one was being drafted.

Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the Vatican spokesman, asked Father Rosica, the CEO of Salt and Light Television, to join the PR team on an interim basis. Five thousand journalists have streamed into Rome from all over the world.

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