Friday, March 08, 2013
Conclave expected to start early next week -Vatican
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Roman Catholic cardinals will vote later on Friday on when to start a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict, the Vatican said, adding that the balloting would most likely begin early next week.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said a decision was expected for after 7 p.m. (6 p.m. British Time) at the end of an afternoon session of preliminary meetings known as "general congregations".
He told a news conference that it was "likely" the conclave in the Sistine Chapel would start either on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
All of the 115 "cardinal electors" under 80 and thus eligible to vote for the next leader of the 1.2 billion-member Church have now arrived and are taking part in the meetings.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Crispian Balmer)