Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Benedict XVI's penultimate "Angelus"

Rome’s St. Peter’s square was filled with close to 200,000 people on February 17th, 2013 during Joseph Ratzinger’s penultimate “Angelus” (the Pope addresses pilgrims for about 15 minutes from his papal apartment every Sunday at 12 noon precisely).

Ratzinger’s very last “Angelus” as St. Peter’s successor will take place on February 24th, 2013 after having startled the Vatican and the entire world with his recent resignation from the Vatican’s highest office. 

The week leading up to the very last “Angelus” will consist of total silence for the 85 year-old Pontiff who has lead the Catholic Church for the last 8 years after the death of Pope John Paul II. 

His departure from St. Peter’s is scheduled for February 28th at 8 pm.  He will spend two months at Castelgandolfo, the nearby papal summer residence.  Shortly after his departure from St. Peter’s the Conclave should be underway: the election and nomination of Benedict’s successor.

Seeing that the circumstances this time are rather extraordinary (seeing that a Pope has not died while still in “office”), the Conclave may take place before mid-March and/or just a few days after Ratzinger’s departure, therefore allowing the new Pope to celebrate Easter.

“And the winner is”?  Sources say that quite possibly Canada’s Cardinal Ouellet is favoured 7-2 to occupy the new “shoes of the fisherman”, but those at the moment are only speculations.  


Nevertheless, the entire world’s attention will be focused on the famous chimney which is connected to the Sistine Chapel where the Cardinals will congregate behind closed doors and in secrecy to elect Benedict’s successor.  Black smoke will signify no Pope, white smoke will signify “Habemus Papam” (We Have A Pope)!