In March, the College of Cardinals will meet in Rome to choose from among themselves a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict will not be involved in the selection. The conclave follows precise rules developed and refined over centuries. The name comes from “cum clave,” meaning “with a key,” signifying that the cardinals are locked in for the election. Read related article.
Sources: “When a Pope Dies,” by Christopher M Bellitto; “Papal Transition” by the Rev. Thomas J. Reese; Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University; www.AmericanMagazine.org: www. catholic-pages.com; Vatican; BBC; National Catholic Reporter; Google Earth Pro; staff reports; Catholic News Service. Note: Two additional cardinals are eligible, but have declared they will not participate in the next conclave. Ninety cardinals are age 80 or older and are ineligible to vote for a new pope. | By Todd Lindeman and Bonnie Berkowitz/The Washington Post