Pope Benedict XVI has delivered the governing changes of the “Motu Proprio”, Feb. 25, which outlines the Roman Catholic Church law that will enable the conclave to select the Pontiff’s successor sooner than the required 15 days waiting period. However, this decision is still dependent upon the Congregation of Cardinals who will only be convoked to their first meeting on March 1, according to News.VA.
The attached photograph depicts Reverend Thomas Rosica reading a book written by the revered Pope John Paul II on the “Apostolic Constitution” during a press conference on Feb. 25 in the Holy See Press Room, where details of the “Motu Proprio” document were revealed.
The change in conclave law comes at the same time as a top U.K. Cardinal, Keith O’Brien, passes on participating in the conclave and resigns as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh due to undisclosed misconduct allegations.
According to Vatican News, individual Cardinals may choose to opt out of participating in the College of Cardinals, which will elect a successor to Pope Benedict who will be resigning on February 28 citing health concerns, however, health issues or other serious conditions must be presented to the Holy See for review.
More of the “main changes” of the “Motu Proprio” declared by Pope Benedict includes excommunication as opposed to the harsher penalties of the past for anyone involved in the conclave that breaks the oath of secrecy, from ushers, to secretaries, to technicians. And a two-thirds majority is required for a valid election once the conclave has started. If after the third day a vote for the new Pope has not occurred, a day of prayer, reflection and dialogue is to follow. The final two papal candidates will not be allowed to vote. The decision of the starting date of the conclave rests solely on the General Congregation.
The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on February 27, 2013 before he vacates the Office of the Papacy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. The possibility holds for the College of Cardinals to meet March 1 and begin the conclave sooner than the 15 days waiting period once the papal seat is vacant, but this decision depends on the majority.
To reflect further on what the Pope’s resignation means to Catholics on Long Island, read the following message from Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
Source: VA. News and Huffington Post.
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