The Cardinals gathered in the Vatican want to set a date for the beginning of the Conclave to elect a new Pope this very day (Friday, March 8). The date would be announced in the evening, told the Vatican.
The election of a new Pope will start probably early next week. “It could be Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday”, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said earlier today. “We can assume that the Congregation is going to vote in its afternoon meeting on the date for the beginning of the Conclave”, told Lombardi.
The Cardinals, assembled in the Papal States from all over the world, will meet again at 5:00 pm. The session will last until 7:00 p.m.. Currently, more than 150 Cardinals are meeting in the so-called General Congregations in the Vatican. At the time of resignation, 115 of them were younger than 80 years, making them eligible to elect a new Pope in the premises of the Sistine Chapel.
The Cardinals gathered to prepare for the election, on Friday officially accepted the notice of removal of the two Cardinals Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja from Jakarta and the Scotsman Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien. The Indonesians renounced for health-, the Archbishop of Edinburgh for “personal reasons” from participating in the Conclave.