Showing posts with label Vatican News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vatican News. Show all posts

Monday, March 11, 2013

News Vatican Information Service 03/11/2013




Vatican City, 11 March 2013 (VIS) – In this morning's 10th and final General Congregation, 152 Cardinals were in attendance. Three new members for the Particular Congregation were picked by lot to assist the Cardinal Camerlengo for the next three days in the lesser affairs of the proceedings. The Cardinal assistants chosen were: from the Order of Bishops, Cardinal Antonios Naguib, patriarch emeritus of Alexandria, Egypt; from the Order of Priests, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; and from the Order of Deacons, Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, archpriest emeritus of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls.

Twenty-eight cardinals spoke today,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office reported, “bringing the total number of interventions given during the course of the 10 General Congregations to 161. There was a wide participation, even if some other cardinals would have liked to participate or to speak again. It was, however, decided not to have another Congregation this afternoon in light of the move to the Domus Sanctae Marthae and the preparations for the Conclave.”

This morning, among other topics, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) was discussed. “Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as president of the Commission of Cardinals for oversight of the IOR, presented the current operations of that commission to those present along with the process for adopting the norms of transparency that it has established. Naturally, much was also said about the expectations and hopes for the future Holy Father.”

Fr. Lombardi then provided some information about events that will take place in the next few days.

Around 90 auxiliary personnel will take the oath of secrecy this afternoon at 5:30pm in the Pauline Chapel. The Cardinal Camerlengo will receive the oaths of these persons who will assist in meeting the personal and official needs connected with the election process. (We provide a list of those involved in a separate article below.)

The “pro eligendo Romano Pontifice” Mass will be celebrated in the Vatican Basilica tomorrow, 12 March, at 10:00am. The booklet for the Mass is available on the Vatican website under the section of the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. The liturgy will be presided by Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano and concelebrated by all the cardinals, including the non-voters. During the offertory, a motet (choral musical composition) by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina will be heard.

Beginning tomorrow, Vatican Television will have a camera fixed on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel to capture the images of the “fumate”.

On their seats in the Sistine Chapel, the Cardinal electors will find the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”, the “Ordo Rituum Conclavis” (Book of Rites of the Conclave), and a book of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The director of the Holy See Press Office also summarized the final acts of the Conclave as regulated by that text. “If a cardinal gets two-thirds of the vote—the required amount for an election—the Cardinal Dean of the assembly, in this case Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, asks 'Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?' After receiving the consent of the one elected he then asks, “By what name do you wish to be called?” Then the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, acting as notary and having two masters of ceremonies as witnesses who are called in at that time, records the new Pope's acceptance and chosen name. He then proceeds to burn the ballots for the white “fumata” (smoke signalling the election). The new Pope then dresses in the “Room of Tears”—perhaps so-called because of the emotion of the moment. When he returns to the Chapel a Gospel passage connected to the Petrine ministry is read, a brief prayer is given, and the cardinals process, one-by-one to the new pontiff, congratulating him and promising their obedience. The Pope and the cardinals sing the Te Deum together.”

There is a new aspect to this Conclave,” Fr. Lombardi noted. “The Pope, before going to the balcony at the centre of St. Peter's Basilica, will stop at the Pauline Chapel to pray before the Blessed Sacraments for a few moments. Then he will go out onto the loggia and greet those gathered with the “Urbi et Orbe” blessing.

Regarding the opening Mass of the new pontificate, Fr. Lombardi explained that it does not have to be celebrated on Sunday, but could occur any day of the week.

Finally, he clarified that the Prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the Pope emeritus' personal secretary, will attend the ceremony of the beginning of the Conclave, as foreseen by his defined duties.


Vatican City, 11 March 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that this afternoon at 5:30pm in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, the officers and assistants of the Conclave process will take the oath of secrecy.

All those involved in the care of the coming Conclave, both ecclesiastic and secular persons, have received prior approval from the Cardinal Camerlengo and the three Cardinal Assistants as established in No. 46 of the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”. The following will take the oath prescribed in No. 48 of that document:

- The Secretary of the College of Cardinals

- The master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff

- The masters of pontifical ceremonies

- The religious who supervise the pontifical sacristy

- The ecclesiastic chosen by the cardinal dean to help him in his duties

- The religious charged with hearing confessions in the various languages

- Doctors and nurses

- The personnel for preparing meals and cleaning

- Florist staff and technical service personnel (UDG, Nos. 5 and 51)

- Personnel responsible for transporting the Cardinal electors from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Apostolic Palace

- Elevator attendants at the Apostolic Palace

- The Colonel and a Major of the Corps of Pontifical Swiss Guards responsible for surveillance around the Sistine Chapel

- The Director of Security and Civil Protection Services with some assistants.

After having been instructed on the meaning of the oath, they will have to pronounce and personally sign the prescribed formula before Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B. Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, and in the presence of two apostolic protonotaries.


Vatican City, 11 March 2013 (VIS) – The “logistics” of the procedures carried out in a Conclave are not established on the basis of personal opinion nor are they subject to passing fads or improvisation. The liturgical tradition—established after the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council—notes with great precision the norms and rites that are to be followed. These are found in the Book of Rites of the Conclave.

The first aspect that the book highlights is the importance of the Conclave, as it involves the election of the Roman Pontiff. Then, focusing on the Mass that precedes the Cardinal electors' entrance into Conclave, it dedicates an entire chapter to explaining the rites and rubrics of this Eucharistic celebration.

The Second Chapter describes the most significant moments of the ceremony of entry into Conclave, with the specific oath that the cardinals swear. The process of voting and the scrutiny of the votes is also subject to a precise order to be followed exactly, as are the preceding and following rituals and the moment of the chosen cardinal's acceptance as Roman Pontiff and his proclamation.

The Book of the Rites of the Conclave ends, at the Fifth Chapter, with the solemn announcement of the election of the Pope and his first “Urbi et Orbi” blessing from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica.

Always in accordance with the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis” promulgated by John Paul II, Benedict XVI introduced a few new features to improve the procedure of the Conclave. For example, at the “pro eligendo Romano Pontifice” Mass held the morning of the day that the Cardinal electors enter into Conclave, all cardinals are expected to participate, not just the Cardinal electors.

Another new addition is where the Rite of Admission to the Conclave and the Oaths of Cardinals should take place. The Pauline Chapel has been established as the particular place prescribed for these two acts.

The regulations also state that, for this ceremony, the senior cardinal in the hierarchy—who currently is Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re—will preside over the celebration, which begins with the sign of the cross and the proclamation of the following words:

May the Lord, who guides our hearts in the love and patience of Christ, be with you all.”

After this brief prayer, Cardinal Re will invite all those gathered to begin the procession towards the Sistine Chapel, where the Conclave will take place, with these words:

Venerable Brothers, after having celebrated the divine mystery, we now enter into Conclave to elect the Roman Pontiff.

The entire Church, joined with us in prayer, constantly calls upon the grace of the Holy Spirit to elect from among us a worthy Pastor of all of Christ's flock.

May the Lord direct our steps along the path of truth, so that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, we may always do that which is pleasing to him.”

After this prayer, the cardinals process into the Sistine Chapel following the minister bearing the cross, the choir, the masters of ceremony, the secretary of the College of Cardinals, and the prelate who will give the meditation to the Cardinal electors. The procession is ended with a deacon, dressed in alb and stole, bearing the book of the Gospels, along with Cardinal Re and the Master of Ceremonies.

During the procession the cardinals will sing the Litany of Saints—a prayer that has eminent importance in celebrations of the Latin liturgy and that recalls saints of the West and the East—and the celebration concludes with the hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus” when they are are gathered in the Sistine Chapel.

A few names that are not customarily recited, but who represent to the universal Church have been introduced in the canticle of the Litany of Saints. These include: the patriarchs and prophets Abraham, Moses, and Elijah; St. Maron of Lebanon; St. Frumencio of Ethiopia and Eritrea; St. Nina of Georgia; St. Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia; St. Patrick of Ireland; and other saints representing various lands such as martyrs of Canada, Uganda, Korea, and Oceania; St. Rose of Lima, Peru, for South America; and some Popes, including St. Pius X.

The solemn oath taken by the cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel follows the formula established in the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”. After the recitation of the Common Form of the oath, each cardinal then lays his hand upon the Gospels, and individually pronounces the prescribed form of the oath.

When the last of the Cardinal electors has taken the oath, the Master of Ceremonies recites the traditional formula “Extra omnes” and all those not taking part in the Conclave must leave the Sistine Chapel.

Besides the Cardinal electors, the only others who will be present in the Sistine Chapel are the Master of Ceremonies and Cardinal Prospero Grech, O.S.A., who will preach the second meditation concerning the grave duty incumbent on them and thus on the need to act with right intention for the good of the Universal Church.

After that exhortation, Cardinal Re will propose to the College of Electors to begin with the first ballot of the Conclave.


Vatican City, 11 March 2013 (VIS) – Following is a brief chronology of Conclaves in recent centuries along with interesting facts that occurred during each.

In the entire history of the Church, the longest papal election—taking place in Viterbo, Italy in 1268 and ending with the election of Gregory X—lasted for over two years. It was as a result of this instance that the modern incarnation of the papal Conclave was instituted.

In modern history, the longest Conclave was that of 1740, which ended with the election of Benedict XVI. It lasted from 18 February until 17 August, 181 days. Fifty-one cardinals participated in the final ballot, four cardinals having died during the proceedings.

In 1758, the Conclave that elected Clement XIII lasted from 15 May until 6 July, 53 days. Forty-five cardinals participated, but one was absent at the final ballot, having left the Conclave because of illness.

In 1769, Clement XIV was elected after 94 days, from 15 February until 19 May. Forty-six cardinals participated in the vote.

Beginning in 1774, the Conclave that elected Pius VI lasted 133 days, from 5 October of that year until 15 February 1775. Forty-six cardinals entered in the Conclave but two of them died during the proceedings.

The Conclave that elected Pius VII took place in Valencia, Spain, since Rome was under occupation by Napoleon’s troops. It lasted from 1 December 1799 until 14 March 1800, 105 days. It was the last Conclave held outside of Rome and 34 cardinals participated.

In 1823, Leo XII was elected after 27 days, 2 September until 28 September, and 49 cardinals participated.

In 1829, the Conclave that elected Pius VIII lasted 36 days, 24 February until 31 March, and 50 cardinals participated.

At the Conclave that began in 1831, the last cardinal not to be bishop was elected Pope, Gregory XVI. The Conclave that elected him lasted 51 days, from 14 December 1830 until 2 February of the following year and 45 cardinals participated.

Short” Conclaves began to take place from 1846, with the election of Blessed Pius IX. Fifty cardinals elected him Pope in a conclave lasting three days, from 14 to 16 June of that year.

After the longest papal reign, which lasted more than thirty years, the following Conclave also lasted three days, from 18 to 20 February in 1878. Sixty-one cardinals participated in the vote to elect Leo XIII. It's interesting to note that, as his reign was the third longest in papal history, lasting over 25 years, only four of the cardinals that elected him participated in another Conclave. Another interesting fact from this Conclave is that the first American to be created cardinal, Cardinal John McCloskey, archbishop of New York, would have been the first non-European to take part in a papal election but he arrived too late to participate. That honour was to go to Cardinal James Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland at the next Conclave.

In 1903 St. Pius X was elected Pope by 64 cardinals in a Conclave that lasted five days, from 31 July until 4 August, and had 7 ballots. It was the last time that the “Jus Exclusivae” (“right of exclusion” or right to veto a candidate for the papacy claimed by the Catholic monarchs of Europe) was exercised. The Italian Cardinal Mariano Rampolla was vetoed by Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. After his election, St. Pius X abolished the right of heads of state to exercise a veto.

In 1914, the Conclave that elected Benedict XV lasted four days, from 31 August until 3 September. The 57 participating cardinals had 10 ballots. Three North American Cardinals were locked out of the Sistine Chapel, having arrived too late to enter but it was the first time that a Latin American cardinal participated, Cardinal Joaquim Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti, archbishop of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 1922, during the Conclave that elected Pius XI, 53 cardinals held 7 ballots over five days, from 2 to 6 February. Two American and one Canadian cardinal were again left out of the Conclave for having arrived too late. After his election, Pius XI established a period of 15 days from the beginning of the Sede Vacante to entering into Conclave in order to allow cardinals enough time to travel to Rome.

In the 1939 Conclave that elected Pius XII, the first patriarch of an Eastern rite participated in the election: His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni, patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians. The Conclave, the shortest of the twentieth century, lasted just two days, from 1 to 2 March. The 62 cardinals held 3 ballots.

In the Conclave of 1958 that elected Blessed John XXIII, cardinals from China, India, and Africa participated for the first time. The Conclave lasted four days, from 25 to 28 October and the 51 cardinals held 11 ballots.

In 1963, the Conclave lasted three days, from 19 to 21 June. The 80 cardinals elected Paul VI after 11 ballots.

In 1978, the Conclave that elected John Paul I was the first in which cardinals over the age of 80 did not participate. The Conclave lasted two days, 25 to 26 August. The 111 Cardinal electors held four ballots.

In the second Conclave celebrated that year—the reign of John Paul I lasting just 33 days, resulting in the most recent “Year of Three Popes”—Blessed John Paul II was elected by the same 111 Cardinal electors after eight ballots held over three days 14 to 16 October.

In 2005, Benedict XVI was elected Pope in the fourth ballot of the Conclave that lasted two days, from 18 to 19 April. The largest number of Cardinal electors ever took part in that election: 115.

The Conclave that begins tomorrow morning, 12 March 2013, will be the first one since 1829 to be held during Lent. One hundred fifteen Cardinal electors will participate.

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

News Vatican Information Service 03/06/2013




Vatican City, 6 March 2013 (VIS) - “At the fourth General Congregation, which began this morning at 9:00am with the prayer of the Liturgy of Hours, 153 cardinals were present. This number includes four additional cardinals who arrived and were sworn in today, three Cardinal electors: Cardinal Antonios Naguib, patriarch emeritus of Alexandria, Egypt; Cardinal Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz, Germany; Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China; as well as Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop emeritus of Munich, Germany who is not an elector,” said Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office during his daily news conference with journalists.

To date, there are 113 Cardinal electors present. Tomorrow the two remaining Cardinal electors are expected—Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, archbishop of Warsaw, Poland, will arrive this afternoon and Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam tomorrow morning.

In the fraternal spirit that characterizes the Congregations,” Fr. Lombardi reported, “Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano wished a happy birthday to Cardinal Walter Kasper (who turned 80 yesterday), Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio (who turns 75 today), and Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R., (who turns 77 tomorrow). Cardinal Kasper continues to be a Cardinal elector—he will be the oldest to cast his vote in this Conclave—because the Apostolic Constitution regulating the procedure for electing the pontiff establishes the age limit for cardinals entering the Conclave to be determined from the beginning of the period of the Sede Vacante.

This morning 18 cardinals addressed the gathering. Without going into details, the director of the Holy See Press office gave a general overview of their nature. “The major theme,” Fr. Lombardi said, “was the Church in the world, the New Evangelization. Other topics included the Holy See, its Dicasteries and relations with bishops. A third theme was a profile of expectations for the next pope in view of the good government of the Church.”

There have been 51 speeches since the beginning of the Congregations,” he added. Given the large number of cardinals wishing to address the gathering, a five minute time limit was established but is not strictly enforced. It was decided that tomorrow they will meet in a morning as well as an afternoon session.

Regarding the cancelling of the press conferences that some of the American cardinals were giving in these days, Fr. Lombardi observed that “the Congregations are not a synod or a congress in which we try to report the most information possible, but a path toward arriving at the decision of electing the Roman Pontiff. In this sense, the tradition of this path is one of reservation in order to safeguard the freedom of reflection on the part of each of the members of the College of Cardinals who has to make such an important decision. It does not surprise me, therefore, that along this path there were, at the beginning, moments of openness and communication and that afterwards, in harmony with the rest of the College, it has been established whether and how to communicate.”

Also brought up in the press conference was the date of the opening of the Conclave. “The College has a great spirit of preparation that is serious, profound, and unhurried,” Fr. Lombardi clarified. “Perhaps that is why it still did not seem opportune to take a vote on the date of the Conclave, which a large part of the College could sense as something forced in the dynamic of reflection. It also needs to be kept in mind that some cardinals are still arriving and it would be a sign of respect for them to wait until the College is complete.”

In conclusion, the director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed that “the Fisherman's Ring has been scratched over,” that is, rendered unusable.


Vatican City, 6 March 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica, on the occasion of the General Congregations proceeding the Conclave, the College of Cardinals will pray for the Church.

The celebration, which will be held at 5:00pm at the Altar of the Cathedra, will begin with the recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in Italian and Latin. Following the Rosary will be the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a brief time for Adoration. Then simple recitation of Vespers (the Church's evening prayer) will be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica. The rite will conclude with Eucharistic Benediction offered by Cardinal Comastri.

The prayer booklet for the celebration can be found online at the website of the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff:

The regularly scheduled mass at the Altar of the Cathedra will be moved to another altar in St. Peter's Basilica.

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

News Vatican Information Service 03/05/2013




Vatican City, 5 March 2013 (VIS) – Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, in this afternoon's press conference, gave updated information on the development of the General Congregations.

On Monday afternoon from 5:00pm until 7:00pm,” he said, “the second General Congregation of the College of Cardinals took place, during which Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., preacher of the Pontifical Household, gave the first of the meditations provided for by the Apostolic Constitution.”

Additionally, a further five Cardinal electors who had arrived in Rome swore the oath: Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon; Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany; Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany; Cardinal Théodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal; and Cardinal Dominik Jaroslav Duka, O.P., archbishop of Prague, Czech Republic.”

The cardinals are free to address the gathering, having only to sign up and then presenting in the order that they have signed in. Nine cardinals spoke and it was also decided that, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Congregations will only be held in the morning.

Referring to the third Congregation that took place this morning from 9:30am until 12:40pm, Fr. Lombardi reported that two Cardinal electors—Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid and Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Catholic Education—and five cardinals who are over the age of 80 arrived and swore the oath. In total there were 148 cardinals present.

There were 11 speeches given by cardinals representing each of the continents and the topics discussed were: activities of the Holy See and its relations with bishops throughout the world; Church renewal in light of Vatican Council II; the Church's position and the need for the New Evangelization in today's world with its diverse cultural environments. Number 37 of Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio concerning the beginning of the Conclave was presented to the prelates but no decision regarding its date was made.

There was also a proposal, endorsed by the Particular Congregation, to dedicate tomorrow afternoon to prayer in St. Peter's Basilica. The Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, will lead the prayers. This initiative will also serve as an invitation to the entire Church to pray at this important moment. The ceremony is open to the public so any faithful who so desire may attend.

In conclusion, the text of a telegram for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, which was signed by Cardinal Dean Sodano, was approved. It reads: “To His Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Castel Gandolfo.”

The Cardinal Fathers, gathered at the Vatican for the General Congregations in view of the next conclave, send you their devoted greetings and express their renewed gratitude for all your illustrious Petrine ministry and for your example of generous pastoral care for the good of the Church and of the world. With their gratitude they hope to represent the recognition of the entire Church for your tireless work in the vineyard of the Lord. In conclusion, the members of the College of Cardinals trust in your prayers for them, as well as for the whole Church.”

Fr. Lombardi reported that the preparations for the Conclave have begun in the Sistine Chapel so it is now closed to visitors. He also presented data on the media coverage of the events of the Holy See in these days: 4,432 temporarily accredited journalists have joined the 600 permanently accredited journalists. The more than 5,000 journalists represent 1,004 news outlets, 65 nations, and 24 languages.


Vatican City, 5 March 2013 (VIS) – On a tapestry hanging in the eponymous gallery of the Vatican Museums, we find one of the oldest witnesses of the chalice-urns that served to gather the ballots of the cardinals voting in the election of a new pontiff.

The tapestry relates an episode narrated in the chronicles of the election of Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644). In the final scrutiny, during the counting of the ballots, one ballot was missing. On the right-hand side of the tapestry, one can see a scrutineer who is looking inside a large chalice with attention and interest, as if to verify the presence of the lost ballot.

A chalice that is very similar to the one seen in the tapestry and a pyx (ciborium) are preserved in the pontifical sacristy of the Sistine Chapel. This chalice and pyx have been used to gather the voting ballots in the conclaves of the last century, up to the election of John Paul II.

With the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis" concerning the period of Sede Vacante of the Apostolic See and the election of the Roman Pontiff (John Paul II, 22 February 1996), the need arose to adapt the urns to the new norms. It was necessary to add a new urn to the chalice and pyx called for in previous regulations, in order to receive the votes of any cardinals having the right to vote but who were impeded through illness from leaving their room to be present for the voting process in the Sistine Chapel. Rather than creating another urn, three new ones were designed during John Paul II's pontificate, principally to make them more functional for the intended use, but also to make them uniform.

The function of the urns is described in Chapter V of the Constitution, which also speaks of a plate to be placed on top of the first urn. Every cardinal, in fact, must "place his ballot on the plate, with which he drops it into the receptacle beneath." The second urn will be used only in the case of the presence in the Conclave of cardinals impeded by illness from leaving their rooms and the third urn will be used to gather the ballots after the scrutiny, before they are burned to produce the traditional smoke announcing to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square either the non-election (black smoke) or the election (white smoke) of the new Pontiff.

The urns are the work of the Italian sculptor Cecco Bonanotte, already known for the new entrance doors of the Vatican Museums that were inaugurated on the occasion of the Jubilee Year 2000. They are made of silver and gilded bronze and their iconography is linked to two fundamental symbols: the first is that of the Good Shepherd and the second of charity. The symbols chosen by the artist for the three urns—a shepherd and his sheep along with more subtle birds, grapes, and ears of grain—are united in a simple and direct way to the meaning that the person of the Pope has in the Church: the shepherd, indeed the Good Shepherd who, in the name of Christ, has the duty of "confirming his brothers" (Luke 22:31) in the faith.

The symbolism of the Good Shepherd, however, also underlines the style of exercising this primacy, which is indissolubly linked to charity. This idea is clearly expressed in the Gospel of John (21:15-25) where "feeding" the flock is joined inseparably to loving care: "Simon of John, do you love me?..." Peter tells him: "Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you: "Feed my lambs." The relationship of love between Jesus and Peter, and as a consequence between the Pope and the Church, is emphasized in the other symbols used to decorate the urns: the birds, grapes, and the ears of grain. Eucharistic bread and wine, which are Christ, accentuate the idea of charity underlined by the sharing of this very bread and the chalice.

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Monday, March 04, 2013

News Vatican Information Service 03/04/2013

Note to readers of this blog: I will continue to use this blog page to post news from the Vatican Information Service until a new Pope is selected.




Vatican City, 4 March 2013 (VIS) – Early this afternoon Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, informed reporters on the proceedings of the first of the General Congregations of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals' meeting took place this morning at 9:30am in the Synod Hall, which is located above the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican building created by the Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi.

The Congregation was headed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College, accompanied by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., camerlengo of the Apostolic Camera, and Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops. The members of the College took their places following the hierarchical order of precedence: first those belonging to the order of Cardinal-bishops, then the Cardinal-priests, and finally the Cardinal-deacons. Each cardinal has an assigned seat to facilitate the process of voting.

After the opening prayer, “Veni Sancte Spiritus”, followed by the “Adsumus” prayer, Cardinal Sodano greeted those present in Italian, informing them of the procedures related to the Sede Vacante and how the Congregations, regulated by the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”, will operate. Following that, technical guidance on the use of microphones and the voting apparatuses was given. The proceedings are being simultaneously translated in five languages: Italian, French, German, Spanish, and English.

There were 142 of the total 207 cardinals present this morning; 103 of those present were Cardinal electors. Expected to arrive this afternoon and tomorrow, therefore, are 63 others including the remaining 12 Cardinal electors. This number—115 Cardinal electors—takes into account the two cardinals who have already indicated that they will not be attending: the archbishop emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia and the archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland.

The gathered cardinals swore to keep secret the deliberations for the election of the future Pope, after which the Cardinal dean, Angleo Sodano, read the oath in Latin, everyone present reciting along with him. After that, each cardinal, according to their order of precedence came forward and took the oath before a Crucifix and with their hand on the Gospels. This process occupied a good portion of the meeting's time.

Three assistants to the camerlengo were also drawn by lot from the Cardinal electors of each of the orders. As established in No. 7 of “Universi Dominici Gregis”, these three will assist the Cardinal camerlengo for the first three days of the Congregations. Chosen were Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re from the order of bishops, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe from the order of priests, and Cardinal Franc Rode from the order of deacons. After being chosen these three also took their places next to the Camerlengo at the head table.

According to tradition, it is expected that the preacher of the Pontifical Household, Fr. Raniero Catalamessa, O.F.M. Cap, will give the first meditation to the College of Cardinals early this afternoon.

During the course of the meeting,” Fr. Lombardi added, “Dean Sodano proposed to the cardinals that, if they sent a message to the Pope emeritus, he would give a written response for one of the following meetings.” The Holy See Press Office Director also commented that the atmosphere was very friendly and that the cardinals took a 45-minute break for coffee and to exchange thoughts.

From 11:45am until 12:30pm, 13 cardinals took the floor to address issues mainly related to the process of the proceedings and the questions to be faced, also bearing in mind the results of the latest Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

You could define this initial encounter,” Fr. Lombardi concluded, “as serene, constructive, and positive.”


Vatican City, 4 March 2013 (VIS) – A student of the history of the Roman Curia, in particular the office called the Apostolic Camera, will find that, as early as the 11th century, the term "camera thesauraria" (treasure chamber) appeared, describing an office set up to administer the finances of the Roman Curia and the temporal goods of the Holy See. Today it performs the latter task only in the period of "sede vacante" or vacant see.

In the 12th century, the head of that office was known as the "camerarius," or camerlengo (chamberlain) - a title which carries over to today. That same century saw the former offices of viceroy, treasurer and wardrobe guardian incorporated into this single department. In the 13th and 14th centuries it acquired judicial functions in fiscal matters as well as certain penal and civil cases.

The camerlengo of Holy Roman Church (to be distinguished from the camerlengo of the College of Cardinals) was often a cardinal, but this became mandatory only in the 15th century. Then – as now – he was assisted by a vice-camerlengo, a general auditor and chamber clerks, called Cleric Prelates. Today there is also a notary.

In the early centuries the camerlengo, individual clerks, and chamber auditor had acquired specific competencies and presided over special tribunals, though the "camera plena" or full chamber functioned as a collegial court. Throughout the 19th century the Camera was above all a tribunal for the pontifical state. With his Apostolic Constitution "Sapienti Consilio" of 29 June 1908, Pope St. Pius X confirmed the Apostolic Camera in its functions of temporal power which it had exercised in the past.

Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution "Regimini Ecclesiae Universae" of 15 August 1967 preserved the Apostolic Camera, presided over by the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church or, if he is impeded, by the vice-camerlengo. It thus maintains the function of caring for and administering the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See during the period of Sede Vacante, that is, between the end of the reign of one Pope and the election of his successor.

A reconfirmation of these special duties was given in John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" of 28 June 1988.

As confirmed by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis" of February 1996, the camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and the penitentiary major are the only two heads of curial offices whose functions do not cease during the Sede Vacante. In fact, those of the camerlengo actually increase during this period.

The current camerlengo of Holy Roman Church is Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, S.D.B. The cardinal was born on 2 December 1934 in Romano Canavese, Piedmont, Italy and was ordained in 1960. He holds a doctorate in canon law and was the rector of the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome in 1989. He received episcopal ordination as archbishop of Vercelli, Italy in 1991. In 1995 Blessed John Paul II appointed him secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose prefect at the time was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. In 2002 he was named metropolitan archbishop of Genoa, Italy and on 21 October 2003 he was created a cardinal. On 22 June 2006, Benedict XVI appointed him as secretary of State and on 4 April 2007, as camerlengo.

On 1 March 2013, the complete Apostolic Camera met for the beginning of the period of the Sede Vacante resulting from His Holiness Benedict XVI's renunciation of the Petrine ministry in effect from 8:00pm the previous day, 28 February. The Apostolic Camera currently consists of: Camerlengo Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.; Vice-camerlengo Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata; Auditor General Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca; and the College of Clerics: Msgr. Assunto Scotti; Msgr. Paolo Luca Braida; Msgr. Philip James Whitmore; Msgr. Winfried Konig; Msgr. Osvaldo Neves de Almeida; Msgr. Krzysztof Jozef Nykiel; Msgr. Lucio Bonora, and; Msgr. Antonio Lazzaro.

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Friday, March 01, 2013

News Vatican Information Service 03/01/2013

Note to readers of this blog: I will continue to use this blog page to post news from the Vatican Information Service until a new Pope is selected.




Vatican City, 1 March 2013 (VIS) - Today, the first day of the Sede Vacante, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, has begun to summon the cardinals to the first of the General Congregations, as provided for by the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”.

This first General Congregation will take place on Monday, 4 March, at 9:30am in the Synod of Bishops Hall. A second General Congregation is also scheduled for 5:00pm in the same place.

Following is the text of the letter:

As prescribed in the Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis” of 22 February 1996 at No. 19, analogous to the case of the death of the Supreme Pontiff, I have the duty to officially communicate to Your Eminence the news of the vacancy of the Apostolic See from the renunciation presented by Pope Benedict XVI effective from yesterday evening, 28 February, at 8:00pm in Rome.”

On communicating this to you I fulfil my duty of summoning Your Eminence to the first of the General Congregations of the College of Cardinals, to be held on Monday, 4 March, at 9:30am in the Synod of Bishops Room in the Paul VI Hall.”

The General Congregations will then continue normally until the complete number of Cardinal electors is gathered and the College of Cardinals decides the date for those Cardinal electors to enter into Conclave on the basis of what the recent Motu Proprio of 22 February established regarding modifications in the norms relating to the election of the Roman Pontiff.”

On my part, I am pleased to take this opportunity to send you my fraternal greetings.”


Vatican City, 1 March 2013 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., related some information regarding the Sede Vacante and the first hours of Benedict XVI after having left the pontificate in a press conference this afternoon.

Fr. Lombardi spoke this morning with Benedict XVI's personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal Household, who told him that, yesterday, His Holiness, who was very calm and serene, had watched several news programs and expressed his appreciation for the work of the journalists as well as for the participation of those who had assisted in his departure from the Vatican and his arrival at Castel Gandolgo. After a brief walk through the Apostolic Palace he went to bed and slept very well.

Today, as always, His Holiness celebrated Mass at 7:00am and then prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. In the afternoon he has another walk planned at 4:00pm, through the gardens of the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace, to pray the rosary. Benedict XVI brought with him various books on theology, history, and spirituality. At the moment he is reading from a book by the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthazar.

Yesterday at 8:00, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State sent a letter to all the diplomatic representatives to the Holy See informing them that, during the period of the Sede Vacante, all matters will be dealt with by the substitute and by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Moreover, this morning, the papal apartments in St. John Lateran were sealed.


Vatican City, 1 March 2013 (VIS) – The College of Cardinals is currently comprised of 207 cardinals: 117 Cardinal electors who can vote in the election of the Pope and 90 cardinals who are over the age of 80. First in the order of the hierarchy are Cardinal-bishops. Currently six in number, these were originally the bishops of the "suburbicarian" dioceses of Rome. Still today the Cardinal-bishops are assigned one of these seven suburbicarian Sees, even though they are not bishops of the diocese. Alongside the titular Cardinal-bishops of those Sees in the hierarchy of the Church (with the exception of Ostia's titular who, since 1150, has been the dean of the College of Cardinals), Pope Paul VI added, in his motu proprio of 1965, “Ad Purpuratorum Patrum”, the patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The patriarchs are not assigned any further title because the names of each of their patriarchal Sees is already included in their title as cardinal.

Second and most numerous in the three orders of cardinals are the Cardinal-priests who are assigned the “titulos” (title) of the important churches of the Diocese of Rome.

Last in the order of cardinals are the Cardinal-deacons who were originally the seven deacons in the Papal Household and the seven deacons who supervised the Church's works in the districts of Rome during the early Middle Ages, when church administration was effectively the government of Rome and provided for all of the city's social services. Cardinal-deacons today are given title to one of these deaconries.

Following is the complete list of the College of Cardinals according to their respective order of precedence. Cardinal electors are marked with an asterisk.




*RE Giovanni Battista

ARINZE Francis

*BERTONE Tarcisio


Cardinal-Bishop Patriarchs

SFEIR Nasrallah Pierre

DELLY Emmanuel III

*NAGUIB Antonios

*RAÏ Béchara Boutros


ARNS Paulo Evaristo

BAUM William Wakefield

CÉ Marco

MACHARSKI Franciszek

KITBUNCHU Michael Michai

do NASCIMENTO Alexandre

*DANNEELS Godfried

WILLIAMS Thomas Stafford

*MEISNER Joachim



VIDAL Ricardo J.




WETTER Friedrich


SIMONIS Adrianus Johannes

LAW Bernard Francis

BIFFI Giacomo



FALCÃO José Freire

SANTOS Alexandre José Maria dos


PIMENTA Simon Ignatius

CLANCY Edward Bede

SZOKA Edmund Casimir


TUMI Christian Wiyghan

CASSIDY Edward Idris

*LÓPEZ RODRÍGUEZ Nicolas de Jesús


*MAHONY Roger Michael

RUINI Camillo

KOREC Ján Chryzostom


VLK Miloslav





WAMALA Emmanuel

KEELER William Henry

*TURCOTTE Jean-Claude

CARLES GORDÓ Ricardo María

MAIDA Adam Joseph

*PULJI? Vinko


TONINI Ersilio




STAFFORD James Francis

DE GIORGI Salvatore


*ROUCO VARELA Antonio María


*PENGO Polycarp

*SCHÖNBORN Christoph


*GEORGE Francis Eugene






*SEPE Crescenzio

MEJÍA Jorge María

*KASPER Walter

*DIAS Ivan

*AGNELO Geraldo Majella


MCCARRICK Theodore Edgar


*BA?KIS Audrys Juozas

*ERRÁZURRIZ OSSA Francisco Javier


*NAPIER Wilfrid Fox


AGRÉ Bernard

*CIPRIANI Thorne Juan Luis


*HUMMES Cláudio

*BERGOGLIO Jorge Mario

*POLICARPO José da Cruz

*POLETTO Severino


EGAN Edward Michael

HUSAR Lubomyr


TUCCI Roberto

*SCOLA Angelo

*OKOGIE Anthony Olubunmi


*ZUBEIR Wako Gabriel


*RIGALI Justin Francis

*O'BRIEN Keith Michael Patrick

SCHEID Eusébio Oscar


*TURKSON Peter Kodwo Appiah

*TOPPO Telesphore Placidus

*PELL George

*BOZANI? Josip

*PHAM MINH MÂN Jean-Baptiste

*BARBARIN Philippe

*ERD? Péter


*VALLINI Agostino

*UROSA SAVINO Jorge Liberato

ROSALES Gaudencio B.

*RICARD Jean-Pierre


CHEONG Jinsuk Nicholas

*O'MALLEY Sean Patrick

*DZIWISZ Stanis?aw



*BRADY Seán Baptist




*SARR Théodore-Adrien



*DiNARDO Daniel N.

*SCHERER Odilo Pedro

*NJUE John

KARLIC Estanislao Esteban

MAZOMBWE Medardo Joseph



*ROMEO Paolo

*WUERL Donald William


*NYCZ Kazimierz

*PATABENDIGE DON Albert Malcolm Ranjith

*MARX Reinhard



*COLLINS Thomas Christopher

*DUKA Dominik

*EIJK Willem Jacobus

*BETORI Giuseppe

*DOLAN Timothy Michael

*WOELKI Rainer Maria


MURE?AN Lucian

*THOTTUNKAL Baselios Cleemis

*ONAIYEKAN John Olorunfemi


*TAGLE Luis Antonio


*TAURAN Jean-Louis

MARTINO Renato Raffaele




*NICORA Attilio

COTTIER Georges Marie Martin

NAGY Stanis?aw

*LEVADA William Joseph

*RODÉ Franc

CORDERO LANZA di Montezemolo Andrea


*SANDRI Leonardo

*LAJOLO Giovanni

*CORDES Paul Josef


*RY?KO Stanis?aw

*FARINA Raffaele

COPPA Giovanni

*AMATO Angelo

*SARAH Robert

*MONTERISI Francesco

*BURKE Raymond Leo

*KOCH Kurt

*SARDI Paolo


*DE PAOLIS Velasio

*RAVASI Gianfranco




*FILONI Fernando



*VEGLIÒ Antonio Maria

*BERTELLO Giuseppe


*AVIZ João BRAZ de

*O'BRIEN Edwin Frederick

*CALCAGNO Domenico

*VERSALDI Giuseppe

GRECH Prosper


*HARVEY James Michael


Vatican City, 1 March 2013 (VIS) - The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Governorate of Vatican City State has issued four stamps with the image of an angel raising the pavilion (“umbraculum”) of the Apostolic Camera, the work of Italian artist Daniela Longo. The stamps cost: €0.70 for mail to Italy, with a light green background; €0.85 for mail to Europe, with a blue background; €2.00 for mail to the Americas, with a grey background; and €2.50 for mail to Oceania, on a yellow background.

The use of these stamps as postage is only available during the Sede Vacante, ending with the election of the new Pope. Their philatelic use is allowed afterwards and the office will continue to sell them to collectors. The initial printing is for 230,000 complete series. The folder including all four stamps costs €15.00. There is also a smaller folder that was created on Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the pontificate, which includes two stamps and costs €10.00.

Regarding coins, a €2.00 one commemorating the Sede Vacante will be issued. It is the only one that will be circulated seeing that, according to the European convention with the Vatican City State, only one coin is allowed to be issued per year, with an extra one permitted in the case of a Sede Vacante. There will, therefore, be two coins in 2013: one for the Sede Vacante and the other, to be issued in April, with an image of Benedict XVI.

The Sede Vacante coin, 125,000 of which will be minted, bears the emblem of the Cardinal camerlengo with the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera.

There will also be 10,000 silver €5.00 coins minted for the Sede Vacante that will have a dove of the Holy Spirit and the words “Veni Sancte Spiritus” on one side and the emblem of the Cardinal camerlengo with the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera and the phrase “Sede Vacante 2013” on the other. Likewise, 5,000 gold €10.00 coins will be minted. This will be a very small coin (13.85mm in size and 3g in weight) and will have the same images and writing as the silver coin.

The €5.00 and €10.00 coins are collectibles and, theoretically, can only be used within the Vatican. They are not legal tender outside of the Vatican.


Vatican City, 1 March 2013 (VIS) – Tomorrow, Saturday 2 March, there will be no VIS transmission, as is normal for Saturdays, unless there is a relevant event or notice to report.

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

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