Skip to main content

Vatican: Pope may change rules to allow replacement vote sooner

From Hada Messia, CNN
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1138 GMT (1938 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Existing rules say vote for replacement should begin 15 to 20 days after papal vacancy
  • But Vatican has said because Benedict XVI is resigning, a vote might be held sooner than usual
  • Benedict's resignation is set for February 28

(CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI is considering changing the Vatican constitution to allow a vote for his successor to begin before March 15, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Wednesday.

Benedict, 85, shocked the world last week when he announced his intention to stand down effective February 28, citing the frailty of old age.

Existing rules say the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals should start voting on a replacement from 15 to 20 days after the papal throne becomes vacant. With Benedict's resignation due to start February 28, the cardinals' conclave ordinarily would start no sooner than March 15.

But Lombardi has said that because Benedict was leaving the papacy through resignation rather than death, the Vatican would explore the possibility of selecting a new pope sooner than normally prescribed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1259 GMT (2059 HKT)
Using his strongest language to date, Pope Francis told Italian Mafia members that they are excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
"Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise," Pope Francis said.
June 20, 2014 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
No topic has been off limits for Pope Francis so far.
June 14, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
Pope Francis prefers not to use a bulletproof Popemobile because it is a glass "sardine can" that walls him off from people.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 0458 GMT (1258 HKT)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres committed themselves to the quest for peace with Pope Francis.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 1846 GMT (0246 HKT)
As the Holy Land prepares for a papal visit, Ivan Watson speaks to the man preparing to honor the pontiff with his food.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
Three of the best-loved leaders in the history of the Roman Catholic church will be united this weekend.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are to be made into saints this weekend in an unprecedented double papal canonization.
April 27, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
October 1962: Pope John XXIII (1881 - 1963) receives an enthusiastic welcome from the crowds at Loreto, during a pilgrimage to pray at the shrines of Loreto and Assisi before the start of the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Council.
Here are five things you need to know about the much-loved "Good Pope."
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Not a jot of doctrine has changed in the year since Francis became Pope. But there's more than one way to measure his impact.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)
Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in a ceremony in the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica -- the first such appointments since he was elected pontiff.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
"The spring evening in which Pope Francis was elected is an apt symbol of the beginning of his papacy and the years that will follow," writes a priest.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1605 GMT (0005 HKT)
In a gesture towards Valentine's Day, Pope Francis gave his advice on how to have a happy marriage before thousands of couples.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1912 GMT (0312 HKT)
A senior Vatican official acknowledged Thursday there is "no excuse" for child sex abuse.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
Take a look at Pope Francis' first year in photos with our gallery.
November 7, 2013 -- Updated 2343 GMT (0743 HKT)
It was the embrace that melted hearts worldwide.
April 3, 2013 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis kisses and hugs disabled boy lifted up in the crowd.
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
With the new pope himself a trained scientist, could the timing could be right for a new era of cooperation between the Vatican and science?
March 16, 2013 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Pope Francis is being painted as a humble and simple man, but his past is tinged with controversy.
ADVERTISEMENT