Skip to comments.Lombardi: 12 Cardinal electors yet to arrive as 1st Congregation concludes
Posted on 03/04/2013 5:34:31 AM PST by NYer
(Vatican Radio) 142 of the 207 Cardinals from the College of Cardinals were present Monday morning for the First General Congregation in preparation for the Conclave to elect the 265th Successor to St. Peter. Of those present Monday 103 are Cardinal electors, meaning that 12 Cardinal electors are still on their way to Rome.
Many of those still absent are expected to arrive Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning at the latest. According to Fr. Lombardi the Cardinals yet to arrive are: Cardinals Naguib, Rai, Meisner, Rouco Varela, Pham, Grocholweski, Sarr, Nycz, Woelki, Tong, Duka, Lehmann and Tong
The number of Cardinals present was the first and perhaps most important information revealed to a packed Press Office, lunchtime Monday, by Director Fr. Federico Lombardi, in the daily Vacant See briefing.
He said the general congregation, which took place in a "warm, serene atmosphere of great spiritual communion", got underway at 9:30 sharp, with those present taking up their places in the New Synod Hall according to the established precedence : Cardinal Bishops, Cardinal Priests and Cardinal Deacons.
Following a brief welcome address by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, the College togther invoked the Holy Sprirt. Then, as prescribed by note 12 of the Apostolic Constitution governing papal elections, they recited the first part of the solemn oath for the election of the Pontiff in unison. Then each Cardinal present, made his way to the Book of the Gospels, placed beneath a Crucifix and sealed the oath .
The election then took place of the first 'particular congregation', composed of three representatives, one per order, who will aid the Camerlengo in the government of the Church for a period of three days. The names are chosen by lots and are as follows:
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, for the order of Bishops
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, for the order of Priests
Cardinal Franc Rodé, for the order of Deacons
The Apostolic Constitution, continued Fr. Lombardi, also requires two meditations one during the general congregations and the second before the start of conclave. The first will be given Monday afternoon, by the preacher to the Papal Household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.
The Dean also proposed the Congregation send a message to the Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, which was unanimously accepted.
Following a coffee break there were three brief, dense interventions aimed at the organization of the days to come, lasting a total of 45 minutes.
Fr. Lombardi concluded : The congregation was positive, serene and promising of an intense discussion of needs of church in days to come.
I am frankly dumfounded by the Pope’s decision. What is a vow worth if the Pope removes himself instead of letting God remove him from office by death?
Did Benedict vow to remain pope until he died? What vow did he break?
As freeper Mercat points out, there is no vow to serve until death. Let's take a look, though, at your first statement. A Vatican insider (someone who reports from Rome and has a good understanding of the Vatican), made some insightful comments. He writes:
It is still not possible to fully assess the decision Benedict has taken. Some Catholic theologians, and even some cardinals, have expressed perplexity, and even opposition, to the Popes decision to resign his office. But there is much that we do not know. Therefore, it seems wise to wait a bit before judging the Popes decision. Clearly, the Pope took this decision after much thought and prayer. And he took it in the context of the challenges facing the Church today. One of these challenges is a sudden acceleration of the pace of human events.
Please read the full text at this link: Letter #29
He didn’t make a vow to be Pope until death. But aside from that, he’s obviously in very poor health (although personally, I think that undefinable disease, a “broken heart,” may have had something to do with his physical health, after all the betrayals he has experienced from those within the Vatican itself). He felt that the state of the Church was too urgent to wait for him to die, which with modern medicine can take much longer than it used to, even though the person is no longer capable of doing much...and certainly not capable of being Pope!
Don’t forget that he watched JPII die for years, and while it was edifying to us to see how bravely JPII bore it, the government of the Church was essentially adrift, and one of the problems that BXVI had upon becoming Pope was that everybody had gotten so accustomed to doing without a pope, in essence. They were not obedient and they had formed their own little spheres of control, which they had no intention of ceding to a pope again.
I think he has worked hard and succeeded in restoring the concept of Pope, which is not his personal possession or something defined by him personally, but refers to the office, the Chair of Peter. But if he lingered to die, it is very likely that it would all be lost again, and things are too urgent for the Church right now to risk letting it drift without a hand on the tiller.
What if it was, indeed, God’s will that he step down? How do you know that it wasn’t?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 (Douay-Rheims Bible)
Plus add to that, those three books about the life and times of Jesus, that Pope Benedict XVI, Emertius had written, though they are excellent reads, but are very deep, must have also taken its toll on B16 and his health.
“Dont forget that he watched JPII die for years, and while it was edifying to us to see how bravely JPII bore it, the government of the Church was essentially adrift, and one of the problems that BXVI had upon becoming Pope was that everybody had gotten so accustomed to doing without a pope, in essence. They were not obedient and they had formed their own little spheres of control, which they had no intention of ceding to a pope again.”
That paragraph that you wrote hit it right on the nail. Watching JP2 “die” during the last 5 years or so of JP2’s life in essense as his right hand man broke his heart. Plus I sense he did not want be Pope being he was older but had the “duty” to be Pope so that in essense, leadership could be restored.
God, please afford Cardinal Rai safe travel and good health as he arrives at Rome and takes up his responsibilities there. Amen
(Rai is my “adopt-a-cardinal”, and is one of the late arrivers to Rome.)
You were assigned an awesome man of God with a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. His name Bechara, means Annunciation in Arabic. When he was elected Patriarch, he chose to be installed on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, pointing out that it was instituted in 2010 as a national holiday in Lebanon and because it is holy to Christians and Muslims. The patriarch also noted the special meaning of the Annunciation for him personally, as he was baptized on the feast at the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in the village of Chouya, Lebanon. He is much loved and respected by the Maronite clergy.
An interesting fact. Bechara Cardinal Rai is the 77th Patriarch of the Maronite Church. The 2/3 vote tally needed to elect the next pontiff is ... 77. Here are 2 videos from his elevation to cardinal at the "surprise" November consistory.
He is my Patriarch!
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