[QODLink]
Europe

Vatican sets date for pope election conclave

Cardinals will on Tuesday submit first round of balloting in secret process meant to choose successor to Benedict XVI.
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2013 23:51

The Vatican has set Tuesday as the the start date for the conclave that will elect the next pope. 

The Roman Catholic Church's press office said the decision was taken after a vote by cardinals on Friday.

Tuesday will begin with a Mass in the morning, followed by the first round of balloting in the afternoon.

All of the 115 cardinal electors will vote for the next leader of the 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI's surprise abdication last month has drawn most of the world's cardinals to Vatican City for discussions on the problems facing the church, and to discuss who they want to succeed him.

There is no clear favourite to take the helm of the Vatican, which faces an array of problems following Benedict's rocky, eight-year reign, ranging from sexual abuse scandals to internal strife at the heart of the Vatican administration.

The cardinals have made it clear they want a quick conclave to make sure that they can all return to their dioceses in time to lead Easter celebrations, the most important event in the Roman Catholic calendar.

Vatican insiders say the longer the general pre-discussions go on, the easier it should be to establish the best candidates for pope.

196

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.