Analysis: The Vatican is stuck in a time period full of court behavior and palace intrigue, trying desperately to stave off 21st-century reality.
The square outside St. Peter’s Basilica was busy the night of Feb. 26. Crews were setting up chairs, barricades, cameras and lights in anticipation of the final general audience of Pope Benedict XVI. Amid the hubbub, pilgrims and visitors milled quietly on the square, giving the scene a somber dignity. Standing in the square in the early evening, one could see lights burning brightly in the papal apartment, leading to the question: want occupies Benedict’s minds on his nights.
The story is told that when Jesuit Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach was set to step down as 29th superior general of the Jesuit order, he was asked what work he would do next.
His answer: “Whatever the next superior general tells me.”
Vatican officials released a pair of unusual statements Saturday condemning some press coverage of the papal transition.
A communique from the Secretariat of State called "deplorable" the "widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" intended to exert "pressures on the election of the pope."
At least one of the 117 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope will not come to Rome because of illness.
Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, the 78-year-old retired archbishop of Jakarta, told the Rome-based AsiaNews agency Thursday that his health and particularly the "progressive deterioration" of his eyesight led to his decision not to travel to Rome.
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Pope Benedict XVI is considering making changes to the conclave rules and rituals before he leaves office Feb. 28, the Vatican confirmed.
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Pope Benedict XVI has entrusted the leadership of the financially troubled Sons of the Immaculate Conception to Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
The religious order, which has about 400 priests and brothers, runs a major hospital in Rome specializing in diseases and cancers of the skin. Its members also work in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The pope's German biographer said when he met with the pope last year, Benedict was "drained of energy" and "deeply disheartened."