Under the current system of papal succession, the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals need to wait at least 15 days after the pope resigns or dies to begin voting on his replacement. With Pope Benedict XVI's resignation set to become official on Feb. 28, that would mean that the cardinals' conclave wouldn't start before March 15.
Benedict, however, appears eager to get things moving. Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters yesterday that the soon-to-be-former pope is considering changing the Vatican's constitution to allow a vote sometime in the first two weeks after he steps down. The reason? In short, the Vatican seems to be recognizing the fact that the cardinals got a head start on their work after Benedict gave two-plus weeks notice earlier this month, something that is more than a little unusual given a pope hasn't resigned in about six centuries.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.