Friday, March 8, 2013

Vatican to Announce Conclave Date at 1 p.m. Friday ?

ROME, - The Vatican will announce the start date for the conclave that will pick the successor to Pope Benedict XVI at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) on Friday, Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said Friday.

The conclave could start early next week, Lombardi said.

The announcement will come after five full days of pre-conclave congregations with the College of Cardinals.

Before the congregations began Monday, Lombardi said the decision on the conclave's start date would be made only after all the 115 cardinal electors expected to participate in the conclave were in Rome; the last of them, Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Vietnam, arrived Thursday.