Vietnamese cardinal arrives, last one for conclave
VATICAN CITY — The last cardinal who will participate in the conclave to elect the next pope arrived Thursday in Rome.
A date, therefore, now can be set for the election. One American cardinal said a decision is expected soon on the start date.
The arrival in Rome of Vietnam's Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man marks that all 115 cardinal electors are in place. He entered the Vatican auditorium for the session without speaking to reporters.
Some American and other cardinals had said they want to continue the pre-conclave meetings that have been going on all week for as long as it takes so that they can discern who among them has the best qualifications to be pope. They also want more time to discuss the Roman Catholic Church's problems.
Some Vatican-based cardinals —defensive about criticisms of the Vatican's internal governance that have been aired recently — want to get on with the vote. They said there's no reason to delay.
“Hopefully it will be a short conclave and start very soon,” Vatican-based Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes of Germany was quoted as telling the German daily Bild. “I would compare it with a visit to the dentist — you want to get everything over with quickly.”
U.S. Cardinal Roger Mahony tweeted that the discussions are “reaching a conclusion.”
“Setting of date for conclave nearing. Mood of excitement prevails among Cardinals,” he wrote.
Once the conclave starts, there is very little time for discussion.
Cardinals take two votes in the morning, two votes in the afternoon — all of them conducted in silent prayer, not chatter, amid the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. As a result, setting the date for the start of the conclave is akin to setting the deadline for when pre-conclave deliberations will finish.
These discussions are designed to give cardinals an opportunity to get to know one another better and dive into the problems confronting the church and who among them is best suited to fix them.
Cardinals received a briefing on the Holy See's finances amid questions about the administration of the Vatican bureaucracy and continued suspicions about the Vatican bank.
As such, “it seems very normal and very wise” to wait to set the conclave date until all cardinals are confident that they're nearing an end to their deliberations, said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Marijuana reform advances in Chile
- Iraqi jet misfire kills 12 in Baghdad
- EU awaits Greek plan for bailout
- Iraqi fighter jet drops bomb over Baghdad, kills 12 people
- Bombs at mosque, restaurant in central Nigerian city kill 44
- Half a million faithful attend pope’s Ecuadoran Mass
- Little hope of survivors in Indonesian plane crash
- Egyptian president plans tougher legal system in speech at burial of prosecutor
- Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly finished
- Death toll from capsized Philippine ferry rises to 50
- Iran tells U.S. to curtail ‘coercion’