The Associated Press Conclave’s rituals, oaths and secrecy explained


 

The Associated Press

Conclave’s rituals, oaths and secrecy explained

4d7c2e2daed1ab05290f6a70670043f5 FILE — In this photo from files taken on April 18, 2005 and released by the Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinals walk in procession to the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, at the beginning of the conclave. Next month’s conclave to elect the 266th leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics will have all the trappings of papal elections past, with the added twist that the this time around the current pope is still very much alive. The conclave begins with the cardinals in their red cassocks processing into the Sistine Chapel, chanting the hypnotic Litany of Saints or Veni Creator imploring the intervention of the Holy Spirit as they take their places before Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment.” (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)
By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press /  February 16, 2013
full story Boston.com.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — It’s a ritual as rich in tradition and symbolism as the Catholic Church can muster: secret oaths, hypnotic Gregorian chants, scarlet-decked cardinals filing through the Sistine Chapel — all while the public outside in St. Peter’s Square watches for white smoke or black to learn if it has a new pope.

Much of the ritual’s current incarnation is the work of Archbishop Piero Marini.

The Vatican’s master of liturgical celebrations for two decades under Pope John Paul II, Marini organized the funeral rites for the late pontiff and the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. He was by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s side minutes after the election when the new pope uttered the words ‘‘I accept’’ — officially launching his papacy on April 19, 2005.

‘‘I still remember, with some emotion, the silence that there was — the participation of the cardinals,’’ Marini recalled in an interview in his Vatican offices. ‘‘It was an event that had been prepared with great care.’’

Next month’s conclave to elect the 266th leader of the world’s billion Catholics will have all the grand trappings of papal elections past — with the added twist that this time around the current pope is still alive.

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About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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