Conclave to begin
Conclave to elect Benedict's successor will begin on March 12 - Cardinals decided the date this Friday...
The Catholic Church's cardinals gathered in Rome (Italy) decided on Wednesday that the conclave to elect the successor to Benedict XVI will begin on March 12 and was announced by the Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi.
The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said Friday that the starting date of the conclave to elect the successor to Benedict XVI will begin on Tuesday, the 12th of March.
More than 150 cardinals gathered Friday in the New Synod Hall, Vatican complex within the Paul VI Hall, and voted for the date to start the election of the next pope in the Sistine Chapel
According to Lombardi, on Tuesday in the Basilica, Mass will be held nd later in the afternoon, 115 cardinal electors will begin the conclave and will take a first ballot.
On the 25th of February, Benedict XVI gave direction to the Cardinals so they could anticipate the next conclave with the approval of a "motu proprio" (papal document).
The legislation provides that the Vatican conclave must begin between 15 and 20 days after the start of the vacancy, with the goal of enabling all the world's cardinals to come to Rome. However, the former Pope in his last acts authorized the cardinals to decide the date without waiting for the deadlines.
On the 28th of February, Benedict XVI spent his first night as pope emeritus at the residence of Castel Gandolfo.
Canon Law states that the cardinals suspected of covering acts of pedophilia committed by priests have "the right and duty to participate in the conclave" to elect the next pope.
In countries like the U.S., Mexico, Belgium and Ireland, Catholics and associations of victims of sexual abuse by priests are pushing national churches for these cardinals to not participate in the election of the new pope.
In Mexico, social activists, former members of the clergy and victims of pedophilia recently published an open letter demanding that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera does not participate in the conclave to seek a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
The action is based on the fact that Rivera has knowledge of some cases of pedophilia in Mexico he has covered, as a bishop in Tehuacan (south) in the eighties, the child sexual abuse by a priest .
These concerns, however, should not be allowed to overshadow the historic nature of the conclave. It is 600 years since a living pope has left his position. The concern should be who the new pope will be and it is always interesting to see how long it will take them to make the selection, as well as who is to be selected.
Translated from the Spanish version by: