Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA

It is now 8:01 PM on Thursday, February 28, 2013, and history has just been made: the Church has a Sede Vacante/Vacant See of Peter, but we still have a Pope Emeritus living.

Bells pealed all over Rome continuously from about 4:55 PM to 5:15 PM, the window of time for the Pope’s helicopter to depart the Vatican and fly to Castel Gondolfo in the mountains outside Rome. It was Rome’s final tribute to a Pope whom Catholics and the world came to admire and cherish.

A Sede Vacante, but no Funeral Rites to be performed; no lying in state; no major Funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Square. So different than the last 600 years.

Tomorrow morning, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals will send a special letter to all the Cardinals of the world informing them officially that the See of Peter is now vacant, that no one is holding the Keys of Peter. Because of the advance notice by Pope Benedict, most of the Cardinals of the world are already here in Rome.

Most likely our first gathering, or General Congregation, will be on Monday, March 4. Since the proceedings of those General Congregations are secret, except for official announcements, I will not be able to post new Blogs nor Tweet on the confidential issues and discussions.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.