Conclave date: Waiting arrival of 5 cardinals

The Vatican is waiting on five more cardinals to arrive before a date is set for the conclave to elect a new pope.

The five cardinals still to arrive in Rome include Egyptian Patriarch Antonios Naguib, and Cardinals Karl Lehmann of Germany, Jean-Baptiste Pham of Vietnam, Kazimierz Nycz of Poland and John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, the Vatican said.

Vatican spokesman the Fr Federico Lombardi said the cardinals were expected in the coming days and that there was no concern about the delay.

Lombardi said it was his sense that the cardinals in Rome want to ‘understand how long is needed to properly prepare for such an important event without hurrying things in anyway”.

Commenting on the absence of some cardinals Lombardi commented, “Some had important meetings of bishops to attend to.”

Cardinal John Tong from Hong Kong is thought to be the last cardinal to arrive, he is expected sometime later today (NZ time). He has been on retreat.

The cardinals in Rome, Tuesday, opted not to hold formal afternoon sessions Tuesday and Wednesday rather to use the time for more informal gatherings.

Preparations however continue for the Conclave, the most obvious being the closure of  the Sistine Chapel, allowing it to prepared it for the conclave and the election of a new pope.

The Chapel will also be swept for electronic bugs.


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