Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican on Wednesday, 1 May 2013



According to the original Italian language article of the Vatican Insider/La Stampa above, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican from his stay in Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence on Wednesday, 1 May 2013.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had stayed at Castel Gandolfo since his retirement as reigning Pope of the Church on 28 February 2013, 2 months earlier. He will be staying in the former Mater Ecclesiae monastery which was originally a cloister for nuns, and now vacated to accomodate the Pope Emeritus and his assistants, which include the current Prefect of Papal Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who is also Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s private secretary.

This will make the work better for Archbishop Ganswein as in his capacity as both the private secretary to the Pope Emeritus and the Prefect of Papal Household, he had to travel daily between the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo.


(Above : Archbishop Georg Ganswein, current Prefect of the Papal Household and private secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)

May God bless our dear Pope Emeritus, bless him with good health, that he will continue to pray for our Church, and that the reforms that he had begun in the liturgy, worship, and new evangelisation can continue to flourish and grow.

Preliminary News : Conclave to begin on Monday, 11 March 2013 (Confirmation needed from the College of Cardinals)


According to the Vatican Insider, or La Stampa, which is the best source of objective and accurate news on the Vatican, the date of the Conclave has been set on Monday, 11 March 2013, which they posted on Monday, 4 March 2013, today, on their La Stampa edition.

Confirmation from the Holy See Press Office (Fr. Federico Lombardi) is needed however, as the first General Congregation of the College of Cardinals that meets to decide the starting date of the Conclave only began this morning at 9 am CET or Rome time. Therefore, the starting date of the Conclave may still change, but it is highly expected to occur between Saturday, 9 March 2013 and Monday, 11 March 2013.

We hope then to have a Pope by Thursday, 14 March 2013 at the latest, and hope that in that case, the Papal Installation Mass can be held on Sunday, 17 March 2013, the 5th Sunday of Lent. That we can have the new Pope to lead us in the celebration of the Holy Week, and the residential Cardinals too can go home to celebrate the Holy Week in their respective archdioceses/dioceses.

Explanation on the changes brought by Motu Proprio Normas Nonnullas on the Conclave


Modifications to the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis that regulates the Papal Conclave, as explained in English by Vatican Insider, with three main changes highlighted :


1. Conclave can begin earlier than 15 days after the vacancy of the See of Rome, but the exact date depends entirely on the College of Cardinals.

2. Cardinal-electors can opt not to attend the Conclave based on health and other valid reasons, but otherwise, all electors should attend, and those with the rights should not be impeded attendance at the Conclave.

3. All people locked inside the Conclave, including even the laity must take the oath of secrecy, the same as that of the Cardinals. More specific latae sententiae excommunication is given immediately to those who broke the oath during and even after the Conclave, unless permission given by the new Pope.

How the Conclave proceeds : A very nice and concise animation!


Go and visit this site, which offers a very good and detailed though simple explanations on the way a Conclave proceeds. Not only that it is easy to follow, step-by-step from the beginning of the Conclave to after a new Pope is elected, I believe it’s quite neat too, with all the animations they did for the occasion. Good job Vatican Insider!