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Tuesday, April 12, 2005


VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 2005 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 18, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at a Mass "for the election of the Roman Pontiff," which will be concelebrated by the other cardinal electors.

  A note from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff states that, "in order to show communion in prayer on the part of the entire Church at such an important moment, cardinal non-electors, bishops, priests, deacons, and members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life are also earnestly invited to participate in the celebration, as are the lay faithful of all God's people present in Rome."

  "The entire Church, spiritually united with Mary Mother of Jesus, and called to persevere unanimously in prayer following the example of the first Christian community, lifts humble and insistent prayers to the Lord, that He may illuminate the minds of the electors and bring them to agreement, in order to obtain a prompt and unanimous election of the new Pope."

  At 4.30 p.m. on Monday, April 18 the entry into conclave and the oath for the election of the new Roman Pontiff will take place in keeping with the norms laid down by the "Ordo Rituum Conclavis." The cardinal electors, preceded by the Cross and the Book of the Gospels, and accompanied by the singing of the Litany of the Saints, will enter in procession from the Hall of Blessings to the Sistine Chapel where, after singing "Veni Creator," they will pronounce the prescribed oath.

  In addition to the cardinal electors, others participating in the procession include the secretary of the conclave, the master of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the secretary of the cardinal dean, the ecclesiastic who will preach the meditation, masters of ceremonies, the dean, ministrants, and the "Cappella Musicale Pontificia."

  At 4 p.m., the note concludes, the following people may access the Sistine Chapel: the substitute of the Secretariat of State, the secretary for Relations with States, the prefect of the Pontifical Household, the two religious who supervise the sacristy, the priests charged with hearing confessions and the commander of the Swiss Guard. There will also be authorized personnel from the Swiss Guard, the healthcare authorities, the floreria (a Vatican office in charge of furnishings), photographers, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center, and the Holy See Press Office.
OCL/MASS ELECTION POPE:CONCLAVE/...                VIS 20050412 (420)


VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 2005 (VIS) - Today, at the end of the Eighth General Congregation of Cardinals in the period of the vacant see, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following statement to journalists:

  "The 8th General Congregation of Cardinals began at 9 this morning in the New Synod Hall. There were 137 cardinals present.

  "After the opening prayer and the swearing of the oath by Cardinal Jean Margeot, who just arrived today, several decisions were communicated on the matter of expenses that are incurred during the period of the vacant see, as well as indications on the transportation of the cardinals from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Sistine Chapel and back.

  "Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani informed the cardinals on the consolidated financial statements of the Holy See for 2004, and on several particulars of the consolidated budget for 2005.

  "The cardinals then expressed  their considerations on several articles of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici gregis'.

  "The participants of the General Congregation began an exchange of ideas on the general situation of the Church in the World and on the Holy See.

  "After the cardinal camerlengo informed the General Congregation about the definitive closing of the pontifical apartment with the placement of the seals of the Apostolic Camera, the meeting concluded with the recitation of the Regina Coeli.

  "As was previously announced, tomorrow morning, April 13 at 10 a.m. in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, the cardinals will receive the condolences of the diplomatic corps.

  "As to visits to the Vatican grottoes, which will be opened tomorrow morning at 7, the faithful will enter through St. Peter's Basilica."


VATICAN CITY, APR 12, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Bernard Law, archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, presided at the fourth novendiali (9 days of mourning) Mass for the repose of the soul of John Paul II last evening in St. Peter's Basilica. The 5 p.m. Mass was for the Chapters of the Patriarchal Basilicas.

  In his homily in Italian, Cardinal Law noted that "this basilica, St. Peter's, marks the place of the death and burial of the Fisherman. Here, on this hill, Peter followed the Lord right to the very end and, through the Paschal Mystery, entered into the glory of paradise. Here John Paul II followed the Lord right to the very end. ... Here, in this basilica, the body of the Holy Father awaits the resurrection, even if we are praying that his soul is already enjoying the eternal rest of the blessed.

  "The basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls," he continued, "marks the burial place of the second founder of the new Rome, Rome built on the blood of martyrs. The missionary heart of St. Paul drove him to preach ceaselessly to all peoples. As no other, Pope John Paul II, following the example of St. Paul, went to the ends of the earth to preach Jesus Christ, and Christ crucified." He noted that St. Paul's was also "the place where our Holy Father preached the unity of all who believe in Christ, the special place of his ecumenical commitment."

  "St. John Lateran," said Cardinal Law, "is the cathedral church of Rome," the church of Rome's bishop, who is the Pope. "These last days we have seen, almost touched, the most moving testimonial of the love of the faithful of Rome for their pastor, Pope John Paul II. A love the Pope returned a hundredfold."

  Noting John Paul's love for Mary and his "promotion of authentic Marian devotion among Catholics," the archpriest of St. Mary Major pointed out that "the last time the Holy Father visited the basilica of St. Mary Major occurred during the last solemnity of Corpus Christi when he accompanied the Blessed Sacrament in procession from St. John Lateran to St. Mary."

  Referring to "these last incredible days," Cardinal Law said "our faith and our hope have been strengthened in seeing a young Karol Wojtyla reflected in the faces of millions of young pilgrims from Italy, Poland and countless other countries." He spoke of the Pope's "youngest years, when his love for every human being lit the fire of the Holy Spirit in so many people, especially in those who were young. We also saw this in his last years of growing fragility when in his weakness he found strength in the Lord."

  Cardinal Law dedicated closing remarks to St. Stanislaw, "the great bishop of Krakow, who on this day in 1079, was assassinated while he was celebrating Mass in the church of St. Michael. His tomb is in the cathedral of Krakow and it was near this tomb that Karol Wojtyla received his episcopal ordination. Today, the liturgical memory of St. Stanislaw, our hearts are close to that of Fr. Stanislaw, Archbishop Dziwisz, for four decades the faithful secretary of John Paul II, to wish him in this very difficult moment a happy name day."

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