With no pope, Catholic Church leaderless for now

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Nuns wait for Pope Benedict XVI to greet the crowd from the window of the Pope’s summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope, Thursday. AP

VATICAN CITY—The Catholic Church has awoken with no leader following Benedict XVI’s resignation, in which he pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as “simply a pilgrim” starting the final part of his life.

Now begins a period known as the “sede vacante” or “vacant see” — the transition between the end of one papacy and the election of a new pope.

During these few days — no more than 20 — a few key players take charge running the Holy See, guiding the College of Cardinals in their deliberations and organizing the conclave to elect Benedict’s successor.

In one of his first official acts as dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano on Friday officially summons cardinals to Rome to participate in the conclave, a formality given that most are already here.

And in one of his first official acts as camerlengo, or the chamberlain who actually runs the Holy See in the transition, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone sealed Benedict’s apartment in the Apostolic Palace on Thursday night. It will not be reopened until a new pope is elected.

With the 8 p.m. Thursday end of Benedict’s papacy, every department head in the Vatican lost his job — except for those whose offices are crucial for the smooth running of the transition period itself.

Cardinals on Monday will begin formal meetings to set the date for the conclave and discuss problems facing the church; major topics of discussion are expected to be the report Benedict commissioned into the leaks of sensitive Vatican documents and the dysfunction currently reigning in the Vatican bureaucracy.

“What we talk about … will be certainly the governance of the church and in that context there may be questions to people who did the report,” said Chicago Cardinal Francis George. “I think we will find out a lot from a lot of sources to figure out what is necessary now to govern the church well here in Rome itself.”

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  • buttones

    So Catholicism is on ‘hold’ for the moment is it, the ‘Captain’ has gone ashore… whatever next…….I always thought that —-well never mind, you know what I always thought….

    • marionics

      no..please…let us know he he

  • igmat

    the faithful will wait excitedly for the new pope for sure although technically the structure of the catholic church heirarchy will not be affected by the sede vacante because each archdiocese is independent from each other and led by an archbishop and it can function normally.

  • walaeh

    if you read the history books, there were times when the catholic church has two popes at the same time, and oh – don’t forget pope joan – who became a pope (papa) if should i say mama? even if she was a woman.

    • AAnomalist

      There are actually 31 so-called anti-popes during western catholic schism. These anti-popes were legitimate popes but elected outside of Vatican. However, pope Joan is only a myth.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3VXUWOGAA2TGEISTZWRNVGJVZ4 nrcarcht

       Well there are two proclaiming popes but only is the valid pope, so try to review your study in history. There is no such pope Joan and Catholic Church is clear to the stand that women cannot serve or become a priest as far as bible and church tradition is concern. So again buddy, make a refresher  course to your history subject.

      • AAnomalist

        True. There is only one catholic church that allows women to be ordained as priests, due to shortages – that is the Angelican Catholic (or Anglo-Catholic) Church.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shirley-Emz/100002942795402 Shirley Emz

      tanga alamat lng yun si joan

  • bogli_anakdami

    oh noooo…. what will j. christ do????

    hay naku, flip gung gongs, puro kayo mga tunggaks!

  • riza888

    With no Pope for the next 2 weeks or so, does that mean fasting and abstaining at this time of Lent is on hold, too?

  • Jarred Pulido

    the leader is the carmelengo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/65PU52YOOOB55YURNMXERZJJWU joseph

    The largest Cult in world has no leader by now…It is very difficult to lead a Cult with full of Hypocrites!! …:-) peace be with you..LOL

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RB77HFWKYPOOSGRUY4BZD6RJ4U Ronald

    mabuhay cardinal tagle

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