Catholic news out of the Vatican today, March 8, announced that a Conclave date to elect the next Pope would be voted on tonight during the Eighth General Congregation, which is likely to occur sometime between the dates March 11 – 13.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi arrived at the Holy See pressroom for a briefing on the Seventh General Congregation of Cardinals today in Vatican City, Vatican holding a bouquet of mimosa, the flower marking International Women's Day, where it was announced that the Conclave date to elect the 265th Successor to Saint Peter will be voted on this evening, March 8 during the Eighth General Congregation, which may occur some time next week.
The eighth General Congregation that will meet this evening will vote on the date to begin the Conclave. It is likely that the Conclave will begin early next week: perhaps Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. It definitely will not be tomorrow or Sunday.
Since all the expected Cardinal electors are now present. The College can now prepare to decide the date of the Conclave, including whether to move the date up from 15 days after the beginning of the period of the Sede Vacante.
All 115 Cardinal Electors were present this morning during the Seventh General Congregation and Father Federico Lombardi said that during this session Cardinals accepted the explanations behind the absences of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, ex-ArchBishop of Edinburgh, Scottland due to personal reasons and Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, S.J., Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia, for health issues in not attending the Vatican Conclave that will elect a new Pontiff.
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