March 12, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - The gathering of Roman Catholic cardinals to pick a new pope began Tuesday with an oath of secrecy and an inaugural vote that produced no quick winner but gave the prelates their first look at which candidates are garnering the most support. Black smoke billowed from the chimney atop the Vatican's Sistine Chapel on Tuesday evening less than 2 1/2 hours after the doors were shut to outsiders and the cardinals within prepared to cast ballots for the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
March 11, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - Roman Catholic cardinals gathering here to elect the next pope have focused with unusual intensity on the management of the Vatican, which by almost all accounts is deeply dysfunctional - and at worst may have permitted criminal behavior. The cardinals' assessment of the inner workings of the Vatican could figure prominently in whom they choose to replace Pope Benedict XVI, church officials and analysts say. The debate also goes a long way in explaining why it took so long to convene the conclave, the secretive meeting inside the Sistine Chapel where 115 cardinals will vote for pope.
March 10, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - The timing said it all. A smiling Pope Benedict XVI had just wrapped up an official visit to Portugal in May 2010, during which he praised Catholic organizations striving to protect families based on "the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman. " But barely 72 hours after the pontiff flew home, the president of Portugal declared that he would sign a bill allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed. With Spain having granted such rights five years earlier, the move turned the entire Iberian Peninsula, historically a Catholic stronghold, into an unlikely hitching post for homosexuals.
March 9, 2013
Re "What we need in a pope," Opinion, March 3 The several different opinions by Roman Catholics collected and published by The Times on the hoped-for qualities of the next pope encompass a wide spectrum. But reading these short Op-Ed pieces, one cannot escape a certain irony. There are calls for "courage," "humility," "incisiveness," "flexibility, "honesty" and "simplicity," qualities that are tied to contradictory goals. It can only be concluded that the next pope would be a failure to some writers while a success to others.
March 9, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - The chimney is up, the tourists are out and the cardinals are on deck. Final preparations were underway Saturday in Michelangelo's splendid Sistine Chapel for the conclave of prelates who will elect a new pope to head the Roman Catholic Church. Journalists were given a look inside the famed chapel where the red-hatted cardinals, the “princes” of the church, will begin their secret proceedings Tuesday to try to settle on a new leader from within their ranks. FULL COVERAGE: Choosing the next pope At the back of the frescoed interior sat the pair of stoves that will be the 115 cardinals' only form of communication with the outside world.
March 8, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY -- Nearly a month after Pope Benedict XVI announced his surprise decision to retire, Roman Catholic cardinals on Friday said they will begin voting to choose his replacement on Tuesday. That means 115 cardinals who were under the age of 80 when Benedict stepped down on Feb. 28 will file into the Sistine Chapel and under solemn vows of secrecy decide who among them will be the next pope. They and another 38 cardinals over 80 have spent most of the last week here debating the momentous troubles facing the church and discussing which traits are most important in the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
March 4, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY -- Roman Catholic cardinals opened talks Monday at the Vatican on choosing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI but made no headway on deciding when they will shut themselves into the Sistine Chapel to start voting for the new pontiff. The conclave has been expected to commence March 11. But 12 of the 115 cardinals eligible to vote had yet to show up when discussions started at 9:30 a.m. Monday, and no date will be set for the conclave until they are all assembled. “There was no talk about when the conclave will begin,” Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said during a break from discussions, but he added: “We would like to be done by Holy Week so we can have a pope and get back to our dioceses.” Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, March 24. PHOTOS: Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell After filing into a conference hall in the Vatican, the cardinals prayed and swore an oath to keep their debates secret, a Vatican spokesman said.
March 3, 2013
On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to willingly step down from his position. What kind of man will the cardinals who have gathered in Rome from around the world choose to be his successor? We asked Catholics from a variety of perspectives to write about some of the qualities they would like to see in a new pope. Sackcloth and ashes By Sister Eileen McNerney The first words that I would like our new pope to say are, "For the next 40 days, I will be wearing sackcloth and ashes in repentance for the sins of our church.
February 28, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - On his last morning in office Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI pledged to respect and obey his successor and told the church's cardinals that he would pray for them to be guided by the Holy Spirit in their selection of a new pontiff. “Among you is…the future pope, to whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience,” the pontiff said, apparently trying to allay fears that having both a reigning and retired pope living inside the Vatican might spark confusion or division within the church.
February 28, 2013 |
When Pope Celestine V quit his job in 1294, his successor locked him in prison and kept him there until he died. Pope Benedict XVI will not suffer the same sad fate. When he resigns Thursday, not only will he not be jailed, exiled or even sent to a retirement home. He will get to stay in the Vatican. This worries some Catholics who think having two popes in the house will make things a little crowded. Some even fear there is a nefarious scheme at work that will allow Benedict to exert undue influence on his successor.