2013-02-13 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, briefed journalists on Wednesday following the General Audience. Fr. Lombardi opened the briefing by discussing minor variations to the Pope’s schedule, among which was the announcement of a special farewell gathering with the members of the College of Cardinals at 11 AM Rome time on the 28th of February.
Among the other matters discussed were some of the first preparations for the sede vacante period, including the appointment of bishop Giuseppe Sciacca as the General Auditor of the Apostolic Camera, which is in charge of the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See during a vacancy in the papacy. An office of ancient standing that was once also of great juridical power and authority, the General Auditor now functions as a legal consultant to the Camerlengo – the head of the Apostolic Camera and a figure who has broad power during the sede vacante.
Also during the course of the question and answer session following the briefing proper, Fr. Lombardi reaffirmed that Pope Benedict will be returning to live a life of prayer and reflection in the Vatican – a fact he said should be a comfort and a help to his successor. “I think the successor and also the Cardinals will be very happy to have - very nearby - a person, [who] best of all understands what the spiritual needs of the Church are – the spiritual needs of the service of the Successor to Peter.” In order to address outstanding questions, especially on the technical and procedural side of things as regards the sede vacante and the Conclave, Fr. Lombardi said there will be further briefings in the week to come. Listen: