So how soon will the conclave begin, anyway?
posted at 3:21 pm on February 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
As soon as possible, now that Pope Benedict XVI changed the rule in a motu proprio published yesterday, but that’s still dependent on a lot of logistical issues. At best, it’s probably going to move up the start of the conclave a week, and perhaps not even that much. The speculation now is that the start may be around the 11th, and that the cardinals will spend the intervening time discussing some of the pressing issues in the Catholic Church before getting to the question of who best to lead the effort to address them:
Throughout his eight-year papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has “carried out a cleansing of the episcopate,” said the apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan.
“This Pope has removed two or three bishops per month throughout the world because either the accounts in their dioceses were a mess or their discipline was a disaster,” said Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia during a Feb. 20 address at the University of San Pablo in Madrid.
“The nuncio went to these bishops and said, ‘The Holy Father is asking you for the good of the Church to resign from your post.’”
Nearly all of these bishops, when approached by the Pope’s representative, were aware of the “disaster” and accepted the request to resign, he added.
“There have been two or three instances in which they said no, and so the Pope simply removed them,” he explained. “This is also a message to the bishops: do the same thing in your dioceses.”
It’s an effort that will no doubt pay off in the long run to the benefit of Benedict XVI’s successor, too.