VATICAN — The last cardinal to arrive in Rome for the election of a new pope is supposed to land this afternoon, in time for Thursday’s second general meeting.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi began the March 7 daily press briefing by telling reporters, “There is no date,” which was followed by sighs from the media.
However, the progress toward a date for the conclave did make visible progress, with the planned arrival of Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man from Vietnam, bringing the College of Cardinals to its full count of 115.
“The Vietnamese cardinal made his journey today, and some Vietnamese priests from Vatican Radio are meeting him at the airport. We will see if he is here in time for this afternoon’s meeting,” Father Lombardi said.
This morning’s gathering began with prayer, which was followed by the swearing in of Cardinals Nycz and Coppa. Three new assistants to the chamberlain were then chosen from the different orders of cardinals for a three-day term of service.
Next on the agenda was a presentation from three cardinals on the financial state of the Holy See, as is required by the 1988 apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus.
The number of talks made today was 16, including the three made on the Vatican’s financial standing. The cardinals who made them came from all parts of the globe, multiple language groups and different cultures.
The morning session ended promptly at 12:30pm, and the cardinals will return to the New Synod Hall for a second meeting at 5:00pm.