Green Room

So how soon will the conclave begin, anyway?

posted at 3:21 pm on February 26, 2013 by

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:

Via Deacon Greg, it seems that Benedict XVI — soon to be Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI — has quietly spent the last few years in a “cleansing of the episcopate,”at the rate of 2-3 bishops per month:

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.

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I am getting excited. Too bad there aren’t any polls :D

msmveritas on February 26, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Or something on In-Trade.

GWB on February 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

The 11th sounds about right. It gives everyone time to get to Rome and then get to know each other before the conclave. Cardinal George just left Chicago yesterday. Presumably he won’t be coming back until the new pope is elected.

JimLennon on February 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

PredictWise has a model that includes the In-Trade numbers. I think I have to agree with The Anchoress predicting the next pope is fraught with peril.

msmveritas on February 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Or something on In-Trade.

GWB on February 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Intrade does, in fact, have a market on would-be popes. Look under the “Current Events” tab. Ghana’s Turkson (who used to be the Archbishop of Cape Coast but now serves in the Vatican) and Italy’s Scola (Archbishop of Milan) are the current favorites, each at about 22%.

JimLennon on February 26, 2013 at 4:10 PM

said the apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan.

Quite possibly the most obscure person to find for a quote ever.

philoquin on February 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I love historical stuff. The tradition behind electing a Pope is one of those things.

gophergirl on February 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Benedict XVI: 10 things about the Pope’s retirement: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21585674

Blake on February 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Either Deacon Greg is reporting for the uninformed masses or he’s a bit behind the times. Blogs that follow such things have watched and reported on the ‘resignations’ from relatively young bishops who obviously aren’t bad health for years.

As for Intrade, anyone putting their money on Turkson isn’t very smart. After he gave an interview in the UK Telegraph last week, Vatican watchers have noted that his chances are now slim to none as the College of Cardinals does not like those who are ‘campaigning’.

Vatican Watcher on February 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM