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Absent cardinals are not late

March 5, 2013

This isn’t a biggy, I grant, but it’s still wrong in several respects. John Stoll at the WSJ writes: If you’re among the 115 cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church under 80 years old, there’s one place on the planet where you really need to be right now: Rome. So why are a handful of them missing in action?

Actually, there are 117 [116 as of today] cardinals under age 80, but two (Darmaatmadja and O’Brien) have declared their intention not to attend the conclave. Second, there is one cardinal over 80 (Kasper) who is nevertheless eligible to participate in virtue of UDG 33. Third, cardinals don’t ‘need to be in Rome right now’ and they are not “missing in action” if they are not there. Electors have 15 days from sede vacante (Feb 28/Mar 1) to arrive for the conclave per UDG 37. Now, it looks like all electors will be in Rome by tomorrow, but if not, they are still not late, not till mid-March. + + +

Added: This one from The Globe and Mail: “The other [cardinal] meetings this week, all held outside the Vatican proper at the modern Paul VI Auditorium near the left flank of St. Peter’s Basilica…” Huh? Outside the Vatican proper? Look at a map, guys. Added: Hmmm. Maybe I need to look at another map? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:VaticanCity_Annex.jpg. So, is part of the hall in the VCS, and part of it is not? How interesting! Would luv to know the background to that one.

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