No Date Set for Conclave as Last Cardinal Arrives in Rome

The last of the 115 voting-age cardinals, Vietnamese Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, finally arrived in Rome for the conclave to choose the new pope, but by the end of Thursday’s afternoon pre-conclave meeting, no date has been set for the election, The Associated Press reported. However the cardinal’s arrival signaled at least that a vote could be taken on a start date now that all cardinal electors are in place. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony tweeted Thursday that, “Setting of date for Conclave nearing. Mood of excitement prevails among Cardinals." The cardinals have been meeting each day since Monday to discuss church business, but it's not clear, at this point, when they will choose the date for the conclave. However, when its does begin, the conclave could be one of the most contentious in years and last a few weeks, Vatican watchers say. Still, it is sure to be a peaceful process, unlike papal conclaves from a few hundred years ago which were rife with international intrigue, royal rigging and even riots.

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