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Symbols of pope's reign destroyed
News.com.au ^ | 4-17-2005 | Philip Pullella and Claudia Parsons

Posted on 04/16/2005 10:18:32 PM PDT by kingattax

CATHOLIC cardinals have destroyed the late Pope John Paul II's ring and seal in a symbolic end to his authority before secluding themselves from the world to elect his successor. The cardinals will begin their conclave this week, and the Vatican said smoke signals would pour from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel twice a day to tell the world whether or not a new pope had been elected.

Overnight, the cardinals watched an ancient ritual marking the transition between two popes - the destruction of John Paul's Fisherman's Ring and his lead seal, two symbols of his authority.

During John Paul's 26-year pontificate and his many trips around the world, countless pilgrims kissed the gold signet ring. Advertisement:

At 4.30pm Monday (Rome time, 12.30am Tuesday AEST), the 115 cardinals under the age of 80 with the right to choose a new pope will file in solemn procession into the Sistine Chapel, with its Michelangelo frescoes, where voting takes place. They come from 52 nations.

The cardinals will hold up to four ballots a day - two in the morning and two in the afternoon - until they elect the 265th pontiff.

Smoke signals above the Sistine Chapel - black smoke for an indecisive vote or white for a new pope - are expected around noon (8pm AEST) and 7pm (3am AEST) each day.

As in 1978 when John Paul was elected, no clear favourite has emerged.

On Monday afternoon (Rome time), after they swear an oath of secrecy and fidelity to the regulations governing the centuries-old election ritual, the cardinals will decide whether to hold a first ballot that night or to start voting on Tuesday morning.

The cardinals for the first time in centuries will live in a modern hotel, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, inside the Vatican and not in makeshift quarters around the Sistine Chapel.

The cardinals will be able to walk the several hundred metres between the hotel and the chapel or take a special bus. But the route will be off limits to outsiders.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told a pre-conclave briefing the smoke signal times were "purely approximate" and that when a new pope was chosen the bells of the basilica would ring out to accompany the white smoke so there would be no confusion.

If the cardinals have not chosen a new pope in three days, they can pause for up to a day for prayer and reflection.

The new pope is chosen by a two-thirds majority, but if no one has been elected after about 33 ballots, the cardinals can decide to move to an absolute majority vote or a run-off between the two front-runners.

The top contender among many bookmakers and newspapers has been the late Pope's close aide, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who turned 78 today.

But church historian Paul Collins, a former priest, said: "There will be more progressive forces working within the conclave to oppose him."

An elaborate high-tech clampdown has been imposed round the conclave area to keep the proceedings secret and the cardinals cut off from the world.

Mr Navarro-Valls said Vatican security personnel had scanned both the Sistine Chapel and the hotel for listening devices. He also suggested measures had been taken to stop mobile phone calls in conclave areas


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cardinals; conclave; johnpaulii; nextpope; pope; vatican
The 'smoke watch' will be on this week
1 posted on 04/16/2005 10:18:33 PM PDT by kingattax
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To: kingattax

When they break the ring and seal, what do they do with the pieces? Are they melted down and used for the next Pope?


2 posted on 04/16/2005 10:20:03 PM PDT by ikka
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To: ikka

good question..i'm sure someone who comes on the thread will know


3 posted on 04/16/2005 10:21:26 PM PDT by kingattax
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To: kingattax

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn is my SWAG as to the new Pope.......


4 posted on 04/16/2005 10:30:33 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: ikka

Why is the seal referred to as "lead"? A seal made of lead would wear out rather fast, surely over 26 years of JPII. If it is a seal die to impress the seal image upon lead balls [hence the word 'bull'], then it would be a steel die.


5 posted on 04/16/2005 10:34:00 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: kingattax
until they elect the 265th pontiff.

The 265th Pontiff was elected on 16 October 1978.

List of Popes

6 posted on 04/17/2005 7:39:20 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Perhaps they are considering Sylvester III to be an antipope, as your link mentions many do.


7 posted on 04/17/2005 10:05:07 AM PDT by dangus
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To: kingattax
But church historian Paul Collins, a former priest, said: "There will be more progressive forces working within the conclave to oppose him."

Well, so much for being in heart felt prayer for the Holy Spirit's guidance. That, and.....

An elaborate high-tech clampdown has been imposed round the conclave area to keep the proceedings secret and the cardinals cut off from the world.

Very sad statement. Can't the cardinals be trusted? They have to be cut off from the world ?

8 posted on 04/17/2005 10:16:05 AM PDT by Neenah
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To: kingattax
CATHOLIC cardinals have destroyed the late Pope John Paul II's ring and seal

And PETA is outraged

9 posted on 04/17/2005 11:05:39 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("Ain't I a stinker?")
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