Cardinals meet for Second Time to Arrange Pope John Paul Funeral
The College of Cardinals have met for the second consecutive day on Tuesday to hold further talks regarding their preparations for the upcoming Conclave, which will see a successor to Pope John Paul II elected.
Cardinals have sworn a vow of silence regarding the contents of their meetings, and so the world has been left to debate on the likelihood of who the next Pope may be. The only indications of what the Cardinals are currently discussing have come from the Vatican spokesperson, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who reported after the meeting that the Cardinals were still in the process of deciding the exact date that the Conclave will commence on.
Church law mandates the conclave to be held some 15 to 20 days from the death of the pope, and a decision must be made with a two-thirds majority vote. However, should the Cardinals remain in deadlock after 12 days of voting, they may vote on changing the rules and elect a successor with a simple majority.
Navarro-Valls also reported that by Tuesday, the Cardinals had not yet read the spiritual statement of Pope John Paul II. Instead the Vatican officials used the day to arrange the final details for the funeral which will take place on 10am Friday 8th April (8am GMT).
So far it is understood that the funeral procession will see John Paul laid to rest near the traditional tomb of the very first Pope, St.Peter.
For the election of the new Pope, the Vatican rules state that Cardinals above the age of 80 will not be able to vote in the Conclave. According to a Vatican release, as of Tuesday 91 out of the 183 Cardinals have arrived in Rome – however, out of these 183, just 117 will be able to take part in the conclave stage of the election process.