Pope Benedict XVI will no longer be the Pope of the Catholic church starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, and the new Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope, will be elected by the Papal conclave as the 266th Pope, according to Yahoo! News.
The Papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a new Bishop of Rome. The cardinals will meet Monday to set the date for the conclave.
Pope Benedict XVI spent Thursday bidding farewell to the pilgrims of the church in Rome. Benedict is 85-years-old, and will be excluded from the vote for another Pope based on the rules of “age.” An individual cannot be over the age of 80 to vote for the new Pope.
The College of Cardinals, reportedly, will be sequestered until a new Pope is elected to the post. Although, British Cardinal Keith O’Brien will not be present, he states: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.” Bishop O’Brien was forced to resign last week.
When Blessed Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI was elected to office on April 19; 17 days later. The nominee or papabile with two-thirds of the vote wins. The winner has the right to accept or reject the offer to be the Pope.