On the way to the Conclave. March 7, 2013

Updates of the General Congregations of the College of Cardinals and preps
by Celine Kelly | Source: www.catholic.net
The Sistine Chapel is being prepared for the Conclave: the elevation of the pavement, the windows have been blacked-out & 2 stoves for the “fumata” (smoke signalling the election or non-election of a Pope after each vote) have been installed. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI' coat of arms, created with flowers in the Vatican Gardens & visible from the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica, was removed to prepare that of the new Pope.

   152 cardinals are now in Rome; the final elector is on his way from Vietnam. 3 new Cardinals were chosen by lot to replace the assistants whose 3-day term expired: from the Order of Bishops, Card. Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., Lebanon; from the Order of Priests, Card. Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Republic of Congo & from the Order of Deacons, Card. Velasio De Paolis, C.S.

   During the Sede Vacante the Carmelengo has to provide the College of Cardinals with information regarding the Holy See's patrimonial & economic status. 3 cardinals spoke briefly on this: Card. Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs; Card. Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony & Card. Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

   13 Cardinals spoke on evangelism, the Holy See, Dicasteries, expectations & hopes for new Pope, ecumenism, relations with other Christian churches & Church's charitable efforts. There was a ½ hour break for mingling & exchange of opinions.

   Cardinal Dean A. Sodano read the draft of a telegram of condolence for the death of Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, on behalf of the College of Cardinals, which was approved by all. When a head of state dies, the Pope sends a telegram of condolence.

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