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)!