Cardinals meet to set date for conclave

2013-03-04 14:12
St Peter's Basilica inside Vatican City (Picture: AFP)

St Peter's Basilica inside Vatican City (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vatican City - Roman Catholic cardinals are meeting on Monday to start the process of electing a new pope.

They are expected to set a date for the start of a conclave during which a successor to Benedict XVI will be chosen.

But a decision on the closed-door assembly in the Sistine Chapel was not expected on Monday.

The General Congregation of Cardinals, which held its first meeting at 09:30, may last several days.

Benedict ended his papacy on Thursday, saying that at 85, he was too frail to continue in office.

He retired to Castel Gandolfo, on the outskirts of Rome, and will not return to the Vatican until a new pope is elected.

There is no clear favourite to succeed Benedict - the first pope to resign in almost 600 years.

One likely contender among the Italian candidates is the Archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola.

But there is also a chance that the next pope will be non-European.

The aim is to have a new pope by Easter, which this year falls on 31 March.

US Cardinal Roger Mahony posted on Twitter on Sunday that the process could be over in less than two weeks.

The run-up to the papal election process has been marred by new allegations of child sex abuse, homosexuality and financial impropriety in the Vatican.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the church's former top official in Britain, stepped down in February after allegations of "inappropriate" behaviour, and admitted on Sunday that his sexual conduct had at times "fallen below the standards expected of me”.

Last month, an Italian newspaper reported that Benedict resigned after an investigation by three cardinals had backed up allegations from the VatiLeaks scandal - in which leaked confidential papal papers shed light on alleged Vatican corruption.

Controversy has also arisen over Mahony.

He was urged in an online petition to stay away from Rome because of his involvement in covering up cases of child sex abuse by priests in the United States.

He has already been stripped of all public duties because of this.

Read more on:    pope benedict xvi  |  keith o'brien  |  pope francis  |  vatican city  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.



Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.