Pope changes conclave rules, allows earlier start
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has changed the rules of the conclave that will elect his successor, allowing cardinals to move up the start date if all of them arrive in Rome before the usual 15-day transition between pontificates.
Benedict signed a legal document, issued Monday, with some line-by-line changes to the 1996 Vatican law governing the election of a new pope. It is one of his last acts as pope before resigning Thursday.
The date of the conclave's start is important because Holy Week begins March 24, with Easter Sunday March 31. In order to have a new pope in place for the church's most solemn liturgical period, he would need to be installed by Sunday, March 17 -- a tight timeframe if a conclave were to start March 15.
Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices
- Bodies of two women found in Galveston County
- Mother of newborn found in dumpster charged 49 min ago
- Three bodies found in rubble of burned down home 42 min ago
- Shots fired during SW Houston restaurant robbery
- Live: Watch Eyewitness News live now
- Mom who drove minivan into ocean charged
- Man chasing $20 gets stuck in sewer for two days
- Ex-girlfriend testifies Olympican cheated on her
- Photos: Kardashians' fake home for sale
- Police impersonator sexually assaults woman
- Prankster's good deed prank leads to tears of joy
- Video: Generous students get visit from big Texan
- Save during spring break with freebies
- Comic book banned because it mentions Allah