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New Pope

As there will be all sorts going on to elect the new Pope I expect that those of you who are going to Rome soon will be redoing your plans and those going a bit later may have more to see in Rome than you had planned? If you have been in a cave this morning, the Pope is quitting effective the end of the month...

Posted by
15680 posts

I'm rooting through my closet right now looking for my red hat.

Posted by
236 posts

Nigel, I'm curious- isn't it unusual for a Pope to resign? Sam, I'm amused- that was funny. ( I was trying to work a "mitre pun" into this but just couldn't pull it off )

Posted by
9110 posts

He's hanging up his hat, so to speak...........in the English tradition. I think tke last time it happened was back at the end of the Avignon/Rome split.

Posted by
222 posts

The last Pope to resign was 600 years ago, Gregory XII in 1415.
Eight popes in the history of the Church resigned.

Posted by
782 posts

I'm feeling inspired to watch "Eurotrip" again now...

Posted by
236 posts

I guess I'm totally indoctrinated. Most folks go to the news, google, Wikipedia for info. I come to RS helpline.

Posted by
4901 posts

The process will certainly be interesting to watch, and while crowds will be greater than normal, I expect that they will be fewer than the Pope JP II to Benedict transition. I suspect there will be less drama, obviously no funeral, a bit less of the masses in SP Square.

Posted by
57 posts

Blerg!!! This is actually a real concern for me, as I'll be visiting Rome - and staying literally right next to the Vatican for the four days I'm there! - the last week of April. That, according to the estimates they're giving, would be just after a new pope is elected. How crazy are people going to be to see the new pope? Or will the new guy be busy getting settled in so that he might not be doing public audiences and that kind of stuff yet? I can't change when my trip is and I'm not even sure I can change where I'm staying at. We booked a long time ago when prices were pretty low.

Posted by
76 posts

Being Catholic this transition would always be of interest to me. However, since I land in Rome on March 19 and my little apartment is literally at the walls of Vatican City, hmmmmm..., I guess it'll be even more interesting! (And crowded.) Sure am glad I have the reservations confirmed and paid for through airbnb! Praying for no complications on the reserved accommodations front at least, and that I'll still be able to get tickets to Palm Sunday mass, etc. (Had not planned to do Easter Sunday in Rome.)

Posted by
36 posts

And to think...just this morning I was wondering what the strike schedule might be thus far (I actually checked - only one train strike scheduled for March). Do I have more to worry about than strikes?
We land in Rome on April 16th. I have paid very little attention to what goes on when Popes are inaugurated/invested or whatever the word is. Other than possibly making it difficult to visit the vatican and making restaurants in the area more likely to book up, what other effects might there be? Am I being naive?

Posted by
7737 posts

Well, Benedict's resignation takes effect 2/28 so they've got plenty of notice to set up a conclave starting no later than that. Easter falls on March 31, and I can't imagine it would take them an entire month to come up with a new pope.

Posted by
36 posts

I just read that there was only 5 days between this Pope's election and inauguration and they have set a deadline of March 31 for the election of the new pope. I'm hoping it will all be over by the time I get there on 4/16. Still, I can't imagine it will have enough of an impact on anyone to warrant completley rescheduling a trip. But, as I said, perhaps I'm being naive.

Posted by
1994 posts

They are anticipating the conclave being convened in mid-March, so the April dates some of you have mentioned are unlikely to be affected. Also, I was in Rome during the last conclave and didn't notice any particular disruption. However, since the conclave will be in the Sistine Chapel, I'm assuming parts of the museums (and obviously the chapel) will be inaccessible. And obviously, St Peter's will be affected by liturgies after the new Pope is elected. So you might want to schedule activities in Rome accordingly. The websites zenit.org and vatican.va will probably be the best sources of specific info. Given the distortions and inaccuracies in coverage of anything religious in the secular media, I'd be very careful about information from those souces. From zenit.org:
"The director of the Vatican press office explained that... The process for the election of a new Pope will begin on 1 March. We do not yet know the exact date of the conclave, but obviously there will be no need to wait the normal eight days of mourning (novendali) after the death of the Pope. Thus, in two weeks, during the month of March, in time for Easter, we will have a new Pope"

Posted by
1976 posts

How cool that we're witnessing something that hasn't happened in 600 years! As a medievalist, I find all of this really interesting.

Posted by
31137 posts

Nigel, I noticed the story on the morning news, and it came as quite a surprize. Coverage was very extensive on Rai Uno TG1, but it's been on ALL the channels. In some of the interviews with senior staff, they said the conclave had to be convened 15 days after the resignation (2/28). They also said that the new Pope could come from Latin America, the Orient or other parts of the world. The next Pope may not even be from Europe? Cheers!

Posted by
222 posts

Of all the names that keep surfacing as "papabile", the most intriguing to me is Peter Turkson of Ghana. I hope you folks who happen to be visiting the Vatican in mid March or thereabouts send us regular dispatches.

Posted by
12019 posts

I heard Berlusconi wants to become the next Pope if he doesn't win the elections this month. He already said he's like Jesus before

Posted by
29 posts

Allen... that IS intriguing about Peter Turkson. Thanks for mentioning it. Roberto... oh wow, that is unreal!

Posted by
31137 posts

Berlusconi is certainly a colourful and flamboyant character. Based on the very limited information I've seen so far, his chances for re-election are not good (especially if any of the female voters have any say in the matter). I haven't checked lately, but is Mario Monti still running? Should be an interesting election.....

Posted by
12019 posts

Berlusconi would be a pope in the Borgia's tradition. I'm sure with him women would be allowed as priests, but only if young and pretty. Yes Mario Monti is running with his own newly created centrist party. No chance for him either. At most he will be part of a coalition government with the Democratic Party, which is widely expected to win.

Posted by
31137 posts

Italian politics certainly isn't boring! Where does Beppe Grillo fit into the picture?

Posted by
29 posts

I'm still chuckling over Roberto's Berlusconi/Borgia comment. I remember learning about the Borgias in art history and being so shocked (yeah, I was naive) that a Pope would have kids much less include them in a portrait! I'm curious if the painting I remember is in the Vatican Museum....

Posted by
76 posts

I have a request in for tickets to Palm Sunday mass and a papal audience. Wonder if they will go ahead and approve the tickets, especially for the Papal audience when right now they don't know if they will have a Pope by the then?

Posted by
11613 posts

Chances of not having a pope by Easter are extremely low, it's the holiest time of the Christian year, and it actually lasts until Pentecost (50 days after Easter Sunday).

Posted by
2193 posts

Good grief, if we can't have a new Pope by Palm Sunday or Easter, maybe it's time to have Catholic women in charge of selecting a new Pope so something can actually get done. Better yet, let's elect a woman as next Pope. We already had Pope Joan back in the 9th century...isn't it time for an upgrade in the 21st century?

Posted by
25 posts

My current itinerary has me in the Vatican City on Thursday March 7th. I'm really hoping the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's aren't closed in anticipation of the conclave. That would be a real bummer.

Posted by
403 posts

The pope's last public mass will be on Feb. 27 so St. Peter's Square is likely to be mobbed that day. According to ancient church law, the conclave to elect the new pope must convene "no fewer than 15 days and no more than 20 days" from the end of the previous pope's reign. That would place the conclave starting between 3/15 and 3/20. Of course, that was what was done when previous popes died. It has not been decided yet if that rule will be used in this case, although it seems likely. The cardinals meet until they choose someone. Could be quick. Could take a long time. It's nice to think there might be a new one in time for Easter, but there's no way to know and there is no such thing as a deadline. Since they meet in the Sistine Chapel, it will certainly be closed.

Posted by
143 posts

I leave for Sicily next Thursday and will be in Rome March 6-11. I will post any goings on here if I can. I will absolutely not reschedule anything! I think the added excitement and energy will make up for any inconveniences, if any. If the Sistine Chapel is closed for the conclavio, I will live with that. Brent I can't imagine St. Peter's being 'closed' during the conclave. Just where the Cardinals are meeting in the Chapel. Happy Italian travels to all of you!

Posted by
1778 posts

Even though it might interfere with someone's sightseeing plans...I think being near the Vatican during a historic enclave would be amazing. I doubt it would interfere with visiting the rest of Rome and seeing the black or white smoke would be something few tourists would ever have a chance to see. I bet there is a special feeling around the Vatican and especially for Catholics. Even as a non-Catholic I think I would be fascinated to be there during that time.

Posted by
3580 posts

Since the Sistine Chapel would be closed to the public during the conclave, I would assume that the Vatican museum may be closed entirely. The museum is organized around the path leading to the chapel. Just a guess. I would expect the basilica to remain open. Be prepared for security checks before entering. In 2001 I attended an outdoor mass at St Peter's led by the late pope John Paul. Even though I could understand very little of his spoken words, it was a very impressive event. St Peter's Square (piazza) is huge and can accommodate thousands of people.

Posted by
143 posts

It appears from what I just read on Catholic News Service that the conclave will begin between March 15-19. Interesting goings on.

Posted by
57 posts

My first thought when I heard that Pope Benedict XVI was retiring/resigning was to wonder if that would encourage other bishops, archbishops, and such to take a look at how they are and think about doing the same. I'm sure various underlings for them have been doing that privately. Whether they've mentioned it to the "boss" would depend on whether said boss was appriaciative of such thoughts from said underling. The Blackie Ryan Mysteries by Andrew Greeley show such a Cardinal doing that. Since I am not planning on being in Rome at that time--I have much to do as part of my church'se Lenten/Easter celebrations--I've enjoyed the replies even if I can't do anything about it. I am sure there will be some enjoyment for anyone who is there at the time.

Posted by
12019 posts

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Silvius, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Berlusconi, qui sibi nomen imposuit Silvius I

Posted by
2347 posts

The conclave could run on indefinitely if the cardinals go on strike.

Posted by
8293 posts

Or if the cardinals leave for Capistrano ... oh, wait, that's the swallows.

Posted by
29 posts

Omg, Roberto! Lol, that is TOO MUCH! For those of us who cannot read Latin, this is what Google translate gave me: And I declare to you a great joy: We have a Pope! Eminent and most revered Lord, Lord Silvius Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Berlusconi, He took the name Silvius 1 (be sure to click on the picture!)

Posted by
6163 posts

I used to think James was the most likely poster to make me laugh out loud (Ed's a good second place) but Roberto, you've taken over the top spot. That picture is just too priceless.