Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sede Vacante

The arms used when the See of Peter is empty

The Church is without her earthly shepherd, as of 2 hours and 20 minutes ago. The video will be replayed on EWTN later I'm sure, and there are pictures galore over the Internet. Just Google 'Pope Benedict helicopter' and 'Closing of doors at Castel Gandalfo.' You are bound to find something.

Now we enter the period of sede vacante, where the cardinals will meet in the coming week to do a few items. First, they will organize themselves to govern the Church in the absence of the Pope to the extent that the law, currently Universi Dominici Gregis as written by Blessed John Paul II and amended by Benedict XVI, allows them to. For example, certain penalties incurred during this time can only be lifted by the next Pope, such as those incurred by cardinals who are only governed by the Pope. However, the Major Penitentiary can grant the faculty for absolution to lift excommunications reserved to the Holy See, even during conclave, since the salvation of souls trumps all in the Church.  Second, they will pick a date for the conclave.

Let us pray for the election of our next Pope. Also, make sure to pray for the cardinals. I am praying for Cardinal Burke, as usual, and Cardinal George as well. I adopted him through Third, pray if you desire for a particular successor of Peter if you would like to see him elected Pope, so that he might be prepared to become Vicar of Christ on earth, in addition to bearing the burdens of conclave. I didn't say for him to be elected, but merely for him. Finally, pray for Holy Mother Church throughout the whole world.

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