Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cardinals thank Benedict XVI; will hold a public prayer service; Sistine Chapel closed

U.S. Cardinals DiNardo,
O'Malley lead news conference
following general congregation meeting
(CNS photo)
Find updated papal transition news throughout the day at osv.com. From around the Catholic web:

The Cardinal Fathers send Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a telegram today thanking him for his ministry:
“The Cardinal Fathers meeting in the Vatican for their General Congregations with a view to the upcoming Conclave”, the text reads, “send you in unison a devout greeting, together with the expression of their renewed gratitude for the whole of your luminous Petrine ministry and for the example you have given them of generous pastoral solicitude for the good of the Church and of the world. Their gratitude is intended to represent all the gratitude of the Church for your tireless work in the Lord's vineyard. Lastly, the members of the College of Cardinals trust in your prayers for them and, likewise, for the entire Church”.
Read the story here from L'Osservatore Romano.

From Vatican Radio
In the daily press briefing, Fr. Federico Lombardi also told journlists that the cardinals are in "no rush" to fix a date for Conclave and that tomorrow Wednesday at 5pm Rome time, the Universal Church is called to prayer for the cardinal electors as they approach this monumental task.
The cardinals then decided that at 5:00 p.m. on 6 March they will meet at the altar of St Peter's Basilica for a prayer meeting. “Since there is no afternoon meeting, tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 p.m. at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, the cardinals are inviting people to a time of adoration and Vespers,” Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi announced March 5. Story here.
Father Lombardi also announced that the Sistine Chapel, where the conclave will take place, was officially closed to tourists beginning the afternoon of March 5 so workers could begin preparing it. The major work involves putting in a false floor so there are no steps, then putting in tables and chairs for the cardinals. Two stoves will be installed: one to burn ballots and the other to burn chemicals to create different colored smoke to let the public know if a pope was selected or not.
During the conclave, the cardinals will use three urns for the ballots. Video images of the urns, commissioned by the Vatican for the 2005 conclave, were shown to reporters during the March 5 news conference. Story here.

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