Green Room

Video: Will the conclave get moved up?

posted at 1:57 pm on February 17, 2013 by

NBC’s George Weigel seems to think so, thanks to the unusual nature of this transition. Via Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner, Weigel explains why the normal sede vacante period will be mainly unnecessary. But more importantly, Weigel emphasizes that the issues at hand are not doctrinal, but organizational reform and preparation for more effective evangelization:

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More on this point later.

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Isn’t there normally a nine-day period of mourning followed by a funeral when a pope dies? Since Benedict isn’t dying, why not shave nine days off the Interregnum period?

You would think, on general principle, they would want the new pope elected before Holy Week. Easter comes really early this year (March 31). If they start the conclave on Monday, the 11th, that gives them nearly 2 full weeks to chose before Palm Sunday.

JimLennon on February 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Isn’t there normally a nine-day period of mourning followed by a funeral when a pope dies? Since Benedict isn’t dying, why not shave nine days off the Interregnum period?

You would think, on general principle, they would want the new pope elected before Holy Week. Easter comes really early this year (March 31). If they start the conclave on Monday, the 11th, that gives them nearly 2 full weeks to chose before Palm Sunday.

JimLennon on February 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

I believe the nine day period of mourning is customary. I’m not sure if it’s enshrined in Canon Law, but the amount of time that the office must be vacant before a new pope is appointed most certainly is. The whole process is supposed to encourage spiritual contemplation and discourage the spirit of personality/hero worship we see so often in the secular media.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Petrus Romanus here we come.

Wait — people called Roman Peter, they go to the house?

The Rogue Tomato on February 17, 2013 at 8:15 PM

I think those that call for the catholic church to become more progressive will be quite disappointed.

BadBrad on February 17, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I know Cardinal Mahoney (ex-Los Angeles) is hoping so… he is scheduled to be DEPOSED next week…

Khun Joe on February 18, 2013 at 1:13 AM

I heard that the conclave is not going to happen in Rome. They are going to do it using Skype, and the vote will be done using PollDaddy. Politicking will be done using Facebook and Twitter. The Church will finally move completely into the 21st Century.

Even now, Apple is putting the finishing touches on a virtual furnace where the votes will be “burned” and either “black” or “white” “smoke” will come out of the Cardinals’ Macs. Apple is trying desperately to assure the Cardinals that normal Mac operation does not include black or white smoke, and that any claims otherwise can be attributed to the unfortunate terminology associated with the creation of CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray media.

And I’m Catholic so you’ve got to believe me.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2013 at 2:20 AM

The whole process is supposed to encourage spiritual contemplation and discourage the spirit of personality/hero worship we see so often in the secular media.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 6:41 PM

I think you’re missing the fact that the conclave can go for however long it takes for the College of Cardinals to be moved by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, I don’t think cardinals are the type of people who would fall in love with a particular cult of personality to the point where they would abdicate their official selection responsibilities to media driven frenzy.

blammm on February 18, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Who gives a crap?

bgibbs1000 on February 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Who gives a crap?

bgibbs1000 on February 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Several billion people several times a day.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Having the Church authorities attempt to change the process at the last minute to accommodate these particular circumstances strikes me as the kind of thing our beloved U.S. Congress tries all the time, generally with horrid results.

Should there be an allowance in Canon Law for a quicker start to a conclave should a Pope resign rather than die in office? Perhaps. But now is not the time to decide on such a change. Leave things as they are. If we happen to go through Holy Week and Easter without a Pope, so be it. The Sacred Triduum is not about any one man, and things will proceed just fine in the short term without a Pope. If the Pope had died on Palm Sunday, we’d get through it okay.

No, let the process play out as Canon Law currently states it should. Then, down the road, when the drama of this nearly unprecedented event passes and there is time for proper discernment, then have the conversation about making potential changes to the rules.

Shump on February 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Who gives a crap?

bgibbs1000 on February 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Several billion people several times a day.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Including me.

itsspideyman on February 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM


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