Saturday, February 16

Politico Playbook - Breaking - Conclave Electing New Pope

From: Mike Allen's Politico Playbook

BREAKING: “Conclave electing new pope could start before March 15 – Vatican,” by Reuters’ Philip Pullella in Vatican City: “The conclave to choose Pope Benedict's successor could start earlier than expected, giving the Roman Catholic Church a new leader by mid-March, the Vatican said … [T]he Vatican was still in a state of spiritual and bureaucratic shock, groping for ways to deal with a situation without precedent for at least six centuries. Some 117 cardinals under the age of 80 will be eligible to enter the secretive conclave to elect Benedict's successor. Church rules say the conclave has to start between 15-20 days after the papacy becomes vacant, which it will on Feb. 28. … Cardinals around the world have already begun informal consultations by phone and email to construct a profile of the man they think would be best suited to lead the Church in a period of continuing crisis. The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope elected and then formally installed … before Palm Sunday on March 24 so he can preside at Holy Week services …

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