Vatican: "No Rush to Fix Date for Conclave"
Independent Catholic News
March 5, 2013
The date for the Conclave to elect the new Pope has still not been set. In his daily press conference this morning, (Tuesday) Vatican press chief Fr Lombardi explained is was not possible to fix a date until all voting cardinals have arrived in Rome. He said the cardinals were in "no rush".
The cardinals yet to arrive at that time, were Cardinals Naguib, Pham, Nycz, Lehmann and Tong. Fr Lombardi said that tomorrow, (Wednesday) at 5pm Rome time, the Universal Church will be called to prayer for the cardinal electors as they approach this monumental task.
Fr Lombardi said interventions made by 33 cardinals so far focused on Holy See activities, different dicasteries and their relations with local bishops around the world, the renewal of the Church in light of Vatican II, the New Evangelization, the Church and new cultures. He said another issue under discussion was the Constitution governing the Vacant See and papal transition and how it was modified by the Motu Proprio. Fr Lombardi said note no 37 was discussed and the issue of bringing forward the date of the start of Conclave remains ‘open’, no proposal has been made.
Fr Lombardi said he sensed that the Cardinals want to “understand how long is needed to properly prepare for such an important event without hurrying things in anyway”. He added that the fact that the Cardinals have opted not to hold afternoon sessions Tuesday and Wednesday in the general congregations is “significant” of the cardinals intention to take their time.
The general congregation also approved a moment of Universal prayer established for Wednesday afternoon at 5pm at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s basilica. The liturgy will include Vespers and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It will be presided by the Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano.
This afternoon, the Sistine Chapel was closed to visitors as the Vatican workers begin to prepare it for Conclave.
At a press conference at the Pontifical North American College, Cardinals Sean O'Malley of Boston and Daniel DiNardo Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas confirmed that the decision for the date of the Conclave could not be made until all voting cardinals were present.
Cardinal O'Malley, OFM said the congregations provide "an opportunity for all of the Cardinals to share their ideas concerning the situation of the Church throughout the world, and the possible needs of the Church going forward, particularly as we prepare to elect a new Holy Father."
"It's an opportunity for us to hear also from the retired cardinals who have a wealth of experience. They will not be coming into the Conclave, but it is an opportunity for them to share their ideas with us," he said.
Cardinal O'Malley said that today they decided it would be beneficial to come together and "pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us in these deliberations and these conversations."
Cardinal DiNardo, noted how it was "good to hear from the cardinals who are over 80 years of age who will not enter into the Conclave. A lot of them have been bishops of dioceses for years, or in the curia, and they have some interesting points of view to bring to our discussions."