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Cardinals attend a meeting at the Synod Hall in the Vatican
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The period immediately following a pontificate is one of excited speculation, more or less loose, about the identity of the next pope. Though secrecy rules do not forbid cardinals from naming their preferences, custom and prudence effectively do. In

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The world’s cardinals were to begin meetings at the Vatican March 4, and while onlookers are focused on who may be the next pope, the cardinals have business to deal with. Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa said the

By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph  Since the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI ended not in death, but abdication, the usual grieving and somber attitude of this particular period of sede vacante has been somewhat abated. Add to that a Catholic community more connected than ever through social media and

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After Pope Benedict XVI officially became pope emeritus, he ate dinner, watched the television news and strolled through the lake-view rooms of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said he spoke March 1 with

By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph When the papacy of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, ended at 8 p.m. Rome time Thursday, immediate changes took place in the digital realm. When the doors were closed at Castel Gandolfo, the 39 tweets sent out by Benedict XVI as @Pontifex were

Sede Vacante
UPDATE: For more up to date information, visit Conclave Central.   Effective Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. in Rome, the papacy of Benedict XVI came to an end. With that, the Catholic Church entered a period of sede vacante. Sede vacante is Latin for “the seat being empty”

Pope Benedict XVI blesses people gathered in the town square after arriving in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Feb. 28. It was his final public appearance before he drew to a close his papacy. “I am a simple pilgrim who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth,” he told the crowd. (CNS/Paul Haring) (Feb. 28, 2013) See BENEDICT-CASTELGANDOLFO (Feb. 28, 2013)
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service  CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy () — Pope Benedict XVI, who began his papacy describing himself as a “humble servant in the Lord’s vineyard,” described his retirement as a time of being a “simple pilgrim, who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth.”

Pope Benedict XVI addresses cardinals on final day of papacy at Vatican City
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — The Clementine Hall is traditionally the place where cardinals bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually when the pope in question is lying in state before his funeral. But on Feb. 28, hours before resigning

Papal audience
By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph ROME — More than 150,000 pilgrims turned out for Pope Benedict XVI’s final general audience Wednesday Morning in St. Peter’s Square. Millions more around the world watched the audience via EWTN and a live feed on the Vatican’s website. Others followed online as The

The well-known Catholic blog Whispers in the Loggia reports that one of the most often asked questions of the papal transition has been answered. When Pope Benedict XVI resigns his office Thursday at 8 p.m. Rome time (2 p.m. Eastern), he will be called “His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope-Emeritus.” There had