Pope Benedict XVI has issued an amendment to papal conclave rules
The rule that the papal conclave must wait 15 days after the Holy See becomes vacant before convening has been changed. Pope Benedict XVI made the change to amend Universi Dominci Gregis, the document that sets the rules for a papal conclave. His amendment gives the cardinals the option to shorten the waiting period.
The original intention of the 15-day waiting period was to give the cardinals time to reach Rome after the death of a Holy Father, but since Pope Benedict XVI is retiring, the cardinals have already made arrangements to travel to the Vatican. The date for the papal conclave will be set when the College of Cardinals meets on March 1. Now that the waiting period will be shortened, it is likely that a Pontiff would be in office in time for Holy Week.
Pope Benedict XVI will be known as “Pontiff emeritus” or “Pope emeritus” when he steps down and will retain the name of His Holiness, Benedict XVI when his pontificate ends.
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