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Vatican: Cardinals could meet sooner to choose new pope
February 18th, 2013
10:01 AM ET

Vatican: Cardinals could meet sooner to choose new pope

By Livia Borghese and Laura Smith-Spark for CNN

Rome (CNN) - The cardinals who must pick a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he steps down on February 28 could meet to make the decision sooner than thought, a Vatican spokesman said Saturday.

The conclave, the meeting which will bring together the 117 cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, could start before March 15 if all the cardinals are already in Rome, Father Federico Lombardi said.

Lombardi had previously said the conclave was likely to start between March 15 and 19.

But he gave new details Saturday, saying that because the pope had resigned rather than the conclave being triggered by his death, there was scope for the time frame to be brought forward.

The decision may not come until after Benedict's departure and lies in the hands of the cardinals, he added.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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