2013-03-08 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) The College of Cardinals could vote this evening to establish a date for the beginning of the Conclave. That was the news from Vatican Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, on Friday as he briefed journalists on the proceedings of the VIII General Congregation of the College this morning. He also explained that the earliest the Conclave could reasonably be expected to begin would be the start of the coming work week. One hundred fifty-three Cardinals were present for the Friday morning session, including all one hundred fifteen Cardinal Electors who will be participating in the Conclave. Listen to our report:
The first order of business in the Friday morning session was to give official acceptance to the reasons offered by the two Cardinals with a right to participate in the Conclave, who have declined to present themselves. They are: Archbishop emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia, Card. Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, SJ, who is too ill to attend; Card. Keith O’Brien, emeritus of St. Andrew’s and Edinburgh, who cited well-known personal reasons for his decision. Eighteen were the official interventions of the participants, on a broad range of topics: Fr. Lombardi, SJ’s English-language consultant, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, elaborated. “Among the themes that were addressed [Friday] morning – and this by no means is breaking the secret of what takes place, but is to help [illustrate] the scope of the discussions - [were]: inter-religious dialogue, bioethics, justice in the world, a positive proclamation of love and mercy, especially remembering [Bl. John Paul II] in his teaching on mercy, and collegiality,” he explained.
Fr. Lombardi also had a special greeting for the women journalists participating in the briefing, on occasion of International Women’s Day, celebrated in many countries around the world on March 8th. “Entering the briefing room with a several traditional women’s day mimosa flowers in hand, Fr. Lombardi, SJ, said, “Before we do anything else, we must offer our best wishes to all the women of the world, and in particular to our colleagues who are women and who are following and covering things here with us in these days.”