George: Cardinals ‘Not Ready’ To Set Date For Papal Conclave
(CBS) – Another day has come and gone without a decision on when the Catholic church’s cardinals will gather to elect the next pope.
Cardinal George has said he wants to be back in Chicago for Holy Week, starting on March 24.
Now that deadline is starting to loom.
The Sistine Chapel, where the cardinals will eventually meet to make their decision on a successor to Pope Benedict, was closed today to prepare for the conclave–although exactly when that will happen remains a mystery.
At the last conclave in 2005, it took seven days to transform the historic chapel to a papal polling place, with desks for voting cardinals on raised platforms down each side.
The Vatican also wants to make sure there are no electronic listening devices either inside or able to penetrate from the outside.
But exactly when the procession of cardinals will enter the chapel remains unclear.
“It depends … on where the conversations are,” George said. “Are we ready to go into conclave?”
George acknowledged that the cardinals have not come to an agreement on timing. Some cardinals had yet to arrive.
“Basically because we’re not ready,” he said. “But also my understanding was that we shouldn’t even begin to discuss it until everybody’s here. But even if they all were here, we still wouldn’t be ready I think.”
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley said the conversations now are needed to ensure that the conclave itself doesn’t drag on with debate.