Latest Stories

Conclave to elect new pope set for next week


VATICAN CITY — Cardinals from around the globe will hold a conclave to elect a new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics next week, the Vatican said, although the exact date will be set later on Friday.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said a meeting of cardinals that ends at 1800 GMT would take a vote on the date for the start of the conclave.

“The conclave will be next week. It could be Wednesday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, maybe even Thursday,” Lombardi said at a press briefing.

The Vatican said all 115 “cardinal electors” who will vote in the conclave are now in Rome.

The last elector, Vietnam’s Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, arrived on Thursday and like his colleagues swore a solemn oath not to divulge the content of pre-conclave talks between cardinals.

At a meeting Friday, the cardinals formally voted to accept the reasons given by two electors for absenting themselves from the conclave: Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatjadja is ill, while British Cardinal Keith O’Brien withdrew after admitting “inappropriate acts” with priests.

In the run-up to the conclave, the Princes of the Church have seized the rare chance of being able to air their grievances against the Vatican, with no new pope to defer to and no old pope to mourn.

Benedict XVI suddenly announced his resignation last month saying he was too old to keep up with a fast-changing modern world, an unprecedented decision in modern Catholic history that has sent shockwaves through the Church worldwide.

The meetings of elderly cardinals that began on Monday are normally something of a formality before the conclave to elect a new pope but this time around they have taken a revolutionary turn.

The closed-door talks are protected by an oath of secrecy, but the voices calling for change have been growing louder after the first papal resignation since the Middle Ages.

Lombardi has said that the issue of the Roman Curia — the administration of the Catholic Church — and its interaction with the Church has been brought up frequently in the meetings.

German cardinal Walter Kasper has been perhaps the most outspoken, telling the Italian daily La Repubblica before a media blackout was imposed that it was time for a “more horizontal government” to shake up the Church hierarchy.

“The Curia must be revolutionized,” Kasper said in the interview, adding: “As well as the word reform, there must be a second: transparency.”

Cardinals like Kasper had called for time for discussions that could effectively set out an agenda for the new pope but media reports said that many Italian cardinals were getting restless.

Vatican watchers suggested the cardinals were split roughly into two groups, between those who think that Italy’s Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan, is the man to tackle the Curia, and those who want a foreign leader to carry out reforms.

Before they abruptly cancelled their daily media briefings on Wednesday, the US cardinals said they were also in favour of broader talks on the Church.

“For some, they want more discussions about these issues. There may be some who are a little more impatient,” Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston in Texas, told reporters.

“I think that we need to look attentively at the work of the Curia in recent years,” DiNardo said, calling for more efficiency in Vatican government.

Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston who is seen as a possible candidate for pope, said: “There is definitely a lot of reflection going on in the Catholic world on the governance of the Catholic Church and how to improve it.”

The Curia is the main instrument of Church governance and includes the Secretariat of State, effectively the foreign ministry, as well as an array of pontifical councils and congregations.

While its role has been a subject of often heated debate in the Church for centuries with reformers calling for greater “collegiality”, matters have come to a head with the “Vatileaks” scandal.

Benedict XVI’s butler Paolo Gabriele last year leaked hundreds of confidential Vatican documents to the press in what he said was an effort to bring greater transparency and reveal the corruption and infighting in the Vatican.

Suspicions have lingered that more Vatican insiders were involved and a top-secret report into the Curia compiled by three cardinals for Benedict XVI has been judged so sensitive that it will only be shown to his successor.

Massimo Franco, a columnist for Italy’s top daily Corriere della Sera, said the report was like a “floating mine” around the Sistine Chapel.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Conclave , News , Vatican , world

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Massive infra spending set
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  8. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • Captain not at helm of capsized Korean ferry–probers
  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Iraqi guilty of beating wife to death in US
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace