Pope makes minor changes in ritual for new Pontiff
February 22, 2013
Pope Benedict XVI has made some changes in the ceremony for the formal installation of his successor.
The changes in ritual, which were approved by the Pope on February 18, do not affect the rules of the conclave that will elect the next Pontiff. Pope Benedict is still considering a change in those rules as well, allowing for an earlier conclave, his spokesman has said.
In the ritual changes, the Pope said that the ceremony for the beginning of the pontificate and the ceremony for the new Pope’s enthronement at St. John Lateran basilica should take place prior to, and apart from, the celebration of Mass on both occasions.
The Pope also changed the traditional rule that the new Pontiff should immediately visit the Roman basilicas of St. Mary Major and St. Paul outside the Walls. The new Pontiff should visit those basilicas “when he finds it most opportune,” the new ritual indicates.