Cardinals’ pre-Conclave meetings fails to fix Conclave date

No date has been fixed for the Conclave.

The cardinals of the Catholic Church have ended their first pre-conclave general meeting without reaching a date for the take-off of Conclave to elect a new Pope.

The cardinals gathered for the meeting on Monday where they took an oath of secrecy, prayed and began discussing some of the logistics to elect a new Pope.

Spokesman of the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi, said that no decision was reached regarding the date of the
Conclave because not all of the cardinals are present yet.

There were 142 cardinals present, and of those 103 were cardinal electors. There are still 12 cardinals who are in
the process of travelling to Rome and they are expected to arrive in the next two days.

Mr. Lombardi said the Cardinals’ discussion “was constructive and reflects a spirit concern for the Church throughout the world.”

The cardinals took an oath to “maintain rigorous secrecy with regard to all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff,” he added. “They recited a part of the oath together and then individually processed to the front of the hall to take the rest of it with their hand on the Bible,” he explained.

According to the apostolic constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis,” which governs the process of electing a new Pope,
the cardinals will have a second meditation delivered before the beginning of the conclave.

Letter to Benedict XVI

As the gathering began to consider business matters, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of the Cardinals, proposed sending a message to Benedict XVI and the idea was warmly received.

According to Mr. Lombardi, the letter is being prepared and will be finalized Monday afternoon.

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