Pope May Change Conclave Rules Before Leaving

Category: World / Feb 20, 2013 3:55PM EDT
The Vatican said on Wednesday, Pope Benedict may change Church rules governing the conclave, the event where cardinals from around the world will meet next month to secretly elect his successor. Benedict was studying the possibility of making changes to two laws established by his predecessor Pope John Paul before he abdicates on February 28. The changes may affect the timing of the start of the conclave. Some cardinals believe a conclave should start sooner, in order to reduce the time in which the Roman Catholic Church will be without a leader. But the changes could mean that Rome-based cardinals hold an advantage over others. Cardinals around the world have already started informal consultations by phone and email to construct a profile of the man they think would be best suited to lead the Church in a period of continuing crisis. Some 117 cardinals under the age of 80 will be eligible to enter the conclave, which is held in the Sistine Chapel. It is expected the Cardinals will stay at the Santa Marta in the Vatican City for the duration of the conclave event.