Pope considers new conclave rules, date uncertain
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI may enact a new law governing the upcoming conclave to elect a new pope amid continued uncertainty over when the voting can begin.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Wednesday that he didn't know for sure if the new law under consideration would address the timing of the conclave following Benedict's Feb. 28 resignation. He said it would contain some "clarifications" on certain points. But given the crush of interest surrounding the conclave date, it's likely to address the issue.
The current law says cardinals should wait 15 days after the papacy becomes vacant before launching a conclave to allow all eligible cardinals to arrive in Rome, making March 15 the presumed start. That delay, however, assumed a papal death and funeral. In this case, the cardinals already know that this pontificate will end Feb. 28 and can get to Rome in plenty of time to take part in the conclave.
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