The Vatican does not yet know when the cardinals will meet in a conclave to decide who will replace Benedict, but it must begin within 20 days of the pope’s resignation, Rev. Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, said Wednesday. Previously, it was reported that a new pope would be in place before Easter.
While Pope Benedict the XVI won’t be directly involved in his successor’s selection, his influence will undoubtedly be felt. He appointed 67 of the 117 cardinals who are set to make the decision. He’s claiming he no longer has the strength it requires to manage the church. After his resignation, the pope will retreat to his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo before retiring to a monastery to devote himself to a life of reflection and prayer.
It sounds peaceful and serene. I wish him the best and hope his final days of retirement are of happiness and joy.