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Catholic Comment News

Conclave March 2013

Since the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, through to Ash Wednesday and into the closing days of the pontificate of His Holiness Benedict XVI, people of all faiths have discussed the office of the Pope and the nature of the Catholic Church. The deep interest in the papal transition is reflected in the over 5,500 applications from journalists for accreditation to the Holy See.

The coming days are a valuable opportunity for shining light on the role of the successor of St Peter, on the nature of the Catholic Church and the rich heritage of prayers, ritual and symbols which accompany the election of the Pope.

Since 01 March, the eyes of the world have been turned towards the Cardinal Electors during their General Congregations as they prepare for the Conclave which will select our new Holy Father.  This, the first social-media conclave has engaged the prayerful support of almost half a million prayerful supporters via www.adoptacardinal.org!

This afternoon, (15:30 GMT) the Cardinal Electors will gather in the Pauline Chapel and process to the Sistine Chapel. The ceremony can be viewed online at www.news.va or on ThePopeApp.  The Booklet for the Ceremony is available here. One of the more striking elements of the ceremony (which has received little attention in media-observations to date) is the Litany of the Saints during the Procession and the singing of the Veni Creator - a hymn dating from the 8th or 9th century which has been used on all solemn moments in the life of the Church.

Many commentators have prepared valuable resources for the papal transition. This morning's homily of Cardinal Sodano is available here as the most recent point of reference for reflection. Other key links which may be of help to you or to interested friends: 

Extract from Prayer after Communion during the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff

Let us pray
... Gladden us with the gift of a shepherd
who will instruct your people by his virtues
and imbue the minds of the faithful with the truth of the Gospel.
Through Christ our Lord.

Fr Robert McCabe
Project Chaplain

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