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Details emerging for Pope's resignation, election of successor

February 13, 2013

At a briefing for reporters on February 13, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, provided some details on the emerging plans for the resignation and future life of Pope Benedict XVI, and for the conclave that will choose his successor.

  • Pope Benedict will hold a final meeting with members of the College of Cardinals in the morning on February 28. His resignation will take effect that evening.
  • Upon the Pope’s official abdication, Vatican officials will begin the sequence of events that ordinarily follows a Pope’s death. The camerlengo will destroy the papal ring and the world’s cardinals will be summoned to the conclave.
  • The conclave will begin sometime between 15 and 20 days after the Pope’s resignation. The exact date is among several procedural matters that will be settled by the cardinals when they first meet after the Pope’s abdication.
  • Pope Benedict himself will play no role in the conclave. He will leave the Vatican immediately, to stay at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, until renovations are completely at the monastery on Vatican grounds where he intends to take up a more permanent residence. “The Pope will surely say absolutely nothing about the process of the election,” Father Lombardi said. He will also surely remain at Castel Gandolfo until after the conclusion of the conclave.
  • The leaders of the Roman Curia will be expected to submit their resignations. Since they act as advisers to the Pontiff, they may be re-appointed or not, at the discretion of the new Pope.
  • Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca has been named the general auditor of the Apostolic Camera, the official who will have temporary authority over the temporal affairs of the Holy See during the interregnum before the election of the new Pontiff.


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  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 14, 2013 2:10 PM ET USA

    Our prayers and our gratitude are with you, Holy Father.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 14, 2013 12:00 PM ET USA

    This is awsome in its order and efficiency. What else to expect of a Pontiff who has shown both for the entirety of his working life?