Date of Conclave could be announced at 7 p.m. Rome time

Fr. Lombardi indicated during the press briefing today (going on as I write), that the date of the beginning of the Conclave may be announced this evening, at 7 p.m. Rome time.

It would probably – not for sure – be early next week.

The Cardinals meeting in General Congregation (now that all the Electors are present and sworn in) will vote on the matter in the afternoon/evening meeting.

According to the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI just before his retirement, said that the Cardinals could move the date forward.  Cf. Universi dominici gregis 38 (modified).

Also, according the UDG 38, the College voted to accept the motives for the absence of the Cardinals who are not coming (the Cardinal from Indonesia for health reasons and O’Brien for “personal” reasons).

There are now, officially, 115 Electors.  77 are going to required to elect a new Pope.

The site was mentioned in the press briefing.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    I saw the link for adoptacardinal on
    So I got mine a few days ago. Which prayer are ppl using to pray for a cardinal? The prayer to St. Joseph?

    If they feel that they have heard enough from each continent of what their needs are, then go ahead? I personally would like if they would meet in the morning and then have public vespers every evening.

  2. MouseTemplar says:

    Not only is this an awesome idea, it’s a great way to find out more about the Church’s Cardinals. For example, the Cardinal “adopted” by the our family is His Eminence Antonio Maria Vegliò. When we went to his web page at the Vatican we learned he is currently President of the Pontifical Council for the Care of Migrants and Immigrants. This Council is in charge of assisting the spiritual life of folks as diverse as sailors, intenational students, and even circus workers! I was comforted that our Church casts so wide a net in her care for the spiritual needs of those adrift in the world!

    Veni Sancte Spiritus!

  3. StJude says:

    This is so exciting!

    God is good.

  4. I have just adopted a cardinal too. Thanks for the link! I am going to go find out everything I can about him so I’m not just praying for a name and a face. My daily rosary and communion will be offered for him. The prayer to St. Joseph is a good idea too!

  5. David Zampino says:

    I adopted a Cardinal as well. And I’m praying!

  6. mamajen says:

    I adopted Cardinal Sardi last week. I had never heard of him before, but I’ve been praying that he lets the Holy Spirit guide him. It’s a neat site!

  7. Jack Orlando says:

    Fr. Z: Rorate Caeli has announced that they have received press credentials for the Conclave, and that they have a reporter on the scene. By your saying “going on as I write“, I pray that Fr. Z’s Blog is equally credentialed!

  8. sw85 says:

    Isn’t a relatively early start date favored by the curialists? So might an early start date be a sign that they have the upper-hand going into the conclave?

  9. monmir says:

    I do not see the need to adopt only one cardinal, I adopted all of them including my archbishop (sigh), he is certainly among the cardinals who need more prayers.

  10. acardnal says:

    I agree with monmir. We should pray for ALL the Cardinals that they respond with docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit because 77 votes are needed to elect our next Vicar of Christ.

  11. acardnal says:

    Reuters is now reporting MARCH 12, Tuesday, for start of Conclave.

  12. marajoy says:

    Well I doubt anyone who has “adopted” a cardinal thinks that relieves him of the obligation to pray for *all* the cardinals. What’s wrong with extra-specific prayers? I’m sure that by “adopting” a cardinal, people are going to be reminded to pray *more* total, and isn’t that what matters in the end?

  13. robtbrown says:

    sw85 says:

    Isn’t a relatively early start date favored by the curialists? So might an early start date be a sign that they have the upper-hand going into the conclave?

    I don’t think it’s all that early. And my guess is that this conclave will not elect any of the prime candidates of the first few rounds.

  14. Phil Steinacker says:

    Father Z,

    Today I read a piece at Cathcon (I think that’s the name – it’s the traditionalist site in Germany which so upsets progressives there and in Austria) about Cardinal Kasper’s participation in the conclave and discusses his agenda there.

    In the post he mentions that Cardinal Kasper turns 80 in two days and also will be voting.

    Now I know from reading here and elsewhere how we got to 115 from the original 118. O’Brien’s out by resignation. The other two are out because they turned 80 before the conclave begins. My recollection is that only if his 80th birthday is after the conclave begins is a cardinal allowed to participate in the vote. If it occurs beforehand, he is prevented from doing so.

    Doesn’t that same reasoning apply to Kasper, or is the cut-off actually at the opening date of the discussions in General Congregation in which the conclave’s opening date was set earlier?

    And yes, I suppose I’m looking for a reason to keep him and his influence out of the voting.

  15. sw85 says:

    @Phil, the rule is that you must be younger than 80 from the start of the sede vacante (February 28), not from the start of the conclave (March 12). So Kasper is in, by the skin of his teeth.

  16. Sandy says:

    Yesterday I adopted a cardinal also. Hope the website to do so gets spread far and wide. I agree with above comments that we pray for all the cardinals – for God’s ordaining, most perfect Will to be done. Have a safe and blessed time there, Father.

  17. Suburbanbanshee says:

    All baptized Christians are part of the Body of Christ, and the Body prays for everyone. Adopting a cardinal, or any other intention, doesn’t remove anything at all from our prayers of charity for all the cardinals or all the world. It’s just a good spiritual exercise, because focusing on one person lets us feel more love and learn more about a specific person; and because the cardinals will feel love more by knowing that they’re adopted.

    More than that, it’s human and nice. As Chesterton says, there’s something endearing about small things or singular things. The adopt a cardinal page is harnessing that.

  18. robtbrown says:

    This morning brings the news that Scola is the leader in the clubhouse. I’m starting to get the idea that the conclave is like professional wrestling. The winner has already been decided, but it’s necessary to go through various machinations for the sake of drama.

    Well, after all, it is Italy.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, no offense, but that is a bit cynical. Scola is a man of prayer and deep spirituality. He would not do such a thing. Conversations may ebb and flow, and the Cardinals giving notes to the media are not necessarily exhibiting prudence, temperance, justice or even real courage-which is to wait on the day and vote in seriousness and serenity of spirit.

    Scola has been singled out for a long time, even before the resignation of Benedict. This is not a new guess.

  20. robtbrown says:


    Why would you think I’m accusing Scola of anything? I am merely describing the process, which a few days ago, indicated (acc to Sandro Magister) that Scola was no longer a serious candidate.

    Question: How long did you live in Italy?

  21. robtbrown says:


    Also: Have you ever watched the beginning of a horse race? And have you ever watched the beginning of il palio?

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