Inauguration of Pope Francis

The Inauguration of Pope Francis, which took place on 19 March 2013 at 9:30am in Rome, was streamed live on Xt3! All the footage from the Inauguration ceremony and Mass is now available on-demand.

Ring of Retired Pope Benedict 'Destroyed'

Published at 2013-03-07 11:47PM

When Pope Benedict XVI officially retired on Feb. 28, he stopped wearing the fisherman's ring, one of the main symbols of the papal office

According to the rules governing the interregnum and election of a pope, the College of Cardinals must "arrange for the destruction of the fisherman's ring and of the lead seal with which apostolic letters are dispatched."

On March 6, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters that this "destruction" had been completed, although he explained that the ring is not smashed or destroyed completely; rather, two deep cuts are made in its face so that it can no longer be used as a seal. Visit this article from CNS to read more.

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Day 4 of Discussions, Cardinals in No Rush to Set Date for Conclave

Published at 2013-03-07 11:38PM

The cardinals are in no hurry to lock in a date for the conclave. On the fourth day of their general discussion meetings, they talked about economics. So the three cardinals who oversee the Holy See's financial department talked about the last report.

Out of the 115 cardinal electors, 114 took part in the meeting. Vietnamese Cardinal Pham Minh Man, was not present at that point, but he has since arrived in the Vatican. With all the cardinal electors present, we are now waiting for the announcement of the date to begin the conclave! Visit this article to read more.

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What Do Cardinals Look for in the Next Pope?

Published at 2013-03-07 10:59PM

The election of the next Pope is not taken lightly. Benedict XVI himself said so during his meeting with the cardinals on his last day as Pope. Before actually voting, the Cardinals take a vow, which says: “With Christ our Lord, who will judge me, as my witness, I hereby vote before God, for the person whom I believe should be elected.”

But the question is, what type of leader are the cardinals looking for? Watch this video to find out...

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Cardinals Pray for the Conclave

Published at 2013-03-07 5:52AM

On Wednesday 6 March 2013, the cardinal electors gathered for adoration and a special service at the Altar of the Chair, as an example of the whole church to pray during the papal transition.

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Media Black-Out, But Creativity Continues in Rome

Last updated at 2013-03-07 4:00AM

By Katrina Lee, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Sydney

A cone of silence sits under and beyond the dome of St Peter's Basilica with the Cardinals agreeing to a "media black out" in the lead-up to the Conclave - followed by one of them walking on to the Vatican balcony to raise his arms and be welcomed as the new Pope.

Of course that doesn't really sit well with a media contingent here in Rome of around 6,000. Space and time must be filled despite an apparent media void.

For a while here in Rome there were the official Vatican briefings, offering up at least some news on the General Congregation and even some stills and images.

Spokesman for the Holy See, Fr Federico Lombardi provided the daily news, schedule and statistics and answered questions from the international media. He has been more than ably assisted by Fr Tom Rosica, head of the very successful Canadian Catholic television station Salt and Light.

Interestingly geographically above the Vatican, on the Janiculum Hill, at the North American College there have been press conferences organised by the United States Conference of Bishops. Their offering has been a couple of Cardinals answering questions without really saying too much and even giving the odd "exclusive" to an American network.

However all that ceased today when the cone of silence descended and the guest appearance by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was cancelled.

This has sent much of the media into further frenzy. The Italian media are scathing and creative of just about anyone and anything.

Other news outlets keep refreshing their "leading candidates" market with "favourites" and "outsiders" although seemingly interchanging every day. And then there are the non-media "specialist commentators" who are savvy to a media void and jump right in with some of the most amazing-astonishing-outrageous-misinformed and headline grabbing statements.

Unfortunately the time and space is there for the picking. Agendas can get a good splash.

In the meantime the Cardinals go about their business - discussion, reflection, prayer. And running (well walking slowly for some) the gauntlet of journalists, cameras and microphones between meeting venues and their cars.

Some have quietly suggested the more time spent in Congregation the shorter the Conclave and that would send a decisive message.

It will be interesting to see how the 6,000-strong media go the distance.

(Photo by Claudio Celli)

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