News / Europe

Vatican: Cardinals to Begin Conclave on Tuesday

U.S. Cardinals (L-R) Daniel Di Nardo, Donald Wuerl, William Levada, and Francis George arrive for a meeting in the Synod Hall at the Vatican, Mar. 8, 2013.U.S. Cardinals (L-R) Daniel Di Nardo, Donald Wuerl, William Levada, and Francis George arrive for a meeting in the Synod Hall at the Vatican, Mar. 8, 2013.
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U.S. Cardinals (L-R) Daniel Di Nardo, Donald Wuerl, William Levada, and Francis George arrive for a meeting in the Synod Hall at the Vatican, Mar. 8, 2013.
U.S. Cardinals (L-R) Daniel Di Nardo, Donald Wuerl, William Levada, and Francis George arrive for a meeting in the Synod Hall at the Vatican, Mar. 8, 2013.
VOA News

The Vatican says Roman Catholic cardinals will meet on Tuesday to start the conclave needed to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
 

The conclave date was set during a meeting of the cardinals Friday in Vatican city, after five days of closed-door debate.
 

All 115 of the cardinals eligible to elect a new pope took part in Friday's meeting. They are all expected to vote during the conclave until one man receives at least a two-thirds majority, or 77 votes. Cardinals must be under age 80 to vote.
 

The conclave, an elaborate ritual bound by centuries-old tradition to elect a new pope, will be held in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.
 

The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope in place by Easter on March 31.

The Vatican says Roman Catholic cardinals will meet on Tuesday to start the conclave needed to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.


  • Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria waves at nuns as he arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall at the Vatican, March 8, 2013.
  • Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, of Brazil, right, is followed by Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo as they arrive for a meeting at the Vatican, March 8, 2013.
  • Security on patrol near St. Peter's Basillica at the Vatican, March 8, 2013.
  • Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, second from right, and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, right, walk past two Swiss guards as they leave after a meeting at the Vatican, March 8, 2013.
  • Souvenir pictures and posters of Pope Emeritus Benedict for sale near the Vatican, March 3, 2013.
Cardinals decided to begin the conclave on Tuesday, March 12,  during a meeting Friday in Vatican city.  The conclave will take place in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.

All 115 of the cardinals eligible to elect a new pope took part in Friday's meeting.  Cardinals must be under age 80 to vote.  

Cardinals have been holding closed-door meetings this week in Rome to plan a date for the conclave, a meeting bound by centuries-old tradition to elect a new pope.

The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope in place by Easter on March 31.

Pope Benedict resigned last month after nearly eight years in office, becoming the first Roman Catholic Church leader to step down voluntarily in 600 years.  He has pledged obedience to the next pope.

Vatican officials have been concerned that information discussed at this week's meetings may have been leaked.  On Wednesday, the Vatican imposed a media blackout on all cardinals following Italian media reports suggesting some cardinals initiated the leaks.

Italian newspapers have speculated that the aim of the blackout was to silence American cardinals, who have been vocal about allegations of corruption and dysfunction within the Curia, the central administration of the Catholic church.

The cardinals gathered this week to discuss other questions facing the church.  Among them was last year's "Vatileaks" scandal, in which confidential papal documents that shed light on power struggles inside top levels of the church were leaked to Italian journalists.

Also under discussion was the series of child sex abuse incidents by priests, which have shaken confidence in the church in recent years.

Papal contenders and electors around the world



Pope Benedict resigned last month after nearly eight years in office, becoming the first Roman Catholic Church leader to step down voluntarily in 600 years. He has pledged obedience to the next pope.


Vatican officials have been concerned that information discussed at this week's meetings may have been leaked. On Wednesday, the Vatican imposed a media blackout on all cardinals following Italian media reports suggesting some cardinals initiated the leaks.


Italian newspapers have speculated that the aim of the blackout was to silence American cardinals, who have been vocal about allegations of corruption and dysfunction within the Curia, the central administration of the Catholic church.


The cardinals gathered this week to discuss other questions facing the church. Among them was last year's "Vatileaks" scandal, in which confidential papal documents that shed light on power struggles inside top levels of the church were leaked to Italian journalists.


Also under discussion was the series of child sex abuse incidents by priests, which have shaken confidence in the church in recent years.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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