The Pope's Resignation

Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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The Pope's Resignation

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard of the Pope tendering his resignation, and his last day of official duty will be on the 28th. I happen to be in Rome during that period.

My question is: how big are the crowds in Rome whenever there is a massive event at the Vatican? News reports so far have not stated whether there will be a ceremony of sorts so I have really no idea what to expect.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Massive crowds. Don;t know dates - since this hasn;t been done in 600 years - so who knows the process (but I'm sure CNN will have dug up somebody by dinner time).

What I don;t get is why he is doing this? Knows he is very ill and has little time left? Can;t carry out duties? Alzheimer's?
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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What I find so odd about the resignation is that he keeps refering to "Dear brothers". I assume he means the college of cardinals - but the fact that this seems to be all the church means to him - or perhaps any Pope - is a sign of much of what is going wrong with the church - living hundreds if not thousands of years in the past.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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They are saying the college of cardinals won't meet til mid-march, so I'm guessing that's when most of the crowding will occur. However, who knows what will occur on feb 28? Might be absolutely nothing, or might be lots of fanfare. Unprecedented in modern times.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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I would love to be at the Vatican during a conclave, crowds or no, to experience such a unique travel experience! Not sure when the conclave is to be held though.

I'm not Catholic but I respect the Pope and give him the benefit that he must have a very good reason to resign especially being the first to do it since the 15th century. Following John Paul was a monumental task for anyone chosen.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Btw, I had the same question earlier this morning as I will be there next week. Click on my name to follow that thread. As to the "dear brothers" question, I believe that's because he sent his resignation letter to the college of cardinals. But I believe he technically abdicated, not resigned, because there is no higher human authority to whom he can resign. The letter to the cardinals is more of a courtesy.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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The conclave will take place 15-20 days after the position has been vacated. Since this took a lot of people by surprise, I'll bet they have not picked a date yet.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Sorry msteacher, did not see your earlier thread (I skimmed the first 50 active threads before I posted and I must have missed yours somehow).

Toucan, it *is* definitely exciting to be in Rome during an unexpected event like this, but at the same time I just want to prepare myself to deal with the possibility of massive crowds. But like msteacher says, anything could happen!
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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>> cardinals won't meet til mid-march <<

The Cardinals will still be at spring training in mid-March.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Can't say for sure, but traffic in Rome in general should be OK then.

Easter is when the huge tourist crowds start flowing in and the congestion is mainly around St Peter's Square, but even then, it shouldn't affect traffic in this vast city. Unless someone has different experiences.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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I was in St. Peter's Square during his first public audience. Unfortunately, I took seriously ill with food poisoning that day and spent the rest of it in urgent care at Termini.

Somehow the Italians had managed a million or so extra visitors during the previous weeks with the funeral of JPII and the election of this pope in what appeared to my outsider eyes as amazingly well- organized chaos.

So I think it would be an amazing time to visit, but do stay away from the caprese at Cafe San Pietro.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:03 PM
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Is the vote process the same in death
as in resignation
After the voting over do they still burn the
votes and outside people know there's a
new Pope by smoke from chimney
Is that the way it happens ????
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:49 PM
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The resignation day MIGHT involve a public address from the outgoing Pope in St Peter's Square, which would attract crowds. But if he wants to say anything interesting, it's not a good place, and he's as likely to do that on TV. Late Feb isn't a good time for an 85 yo man to celebrate High Mass in the open air, so any formalities round his departure will be inside St Peter's, possibly followed by a last balcony appearance or Popemobile lap of honour round the Square.

In any case, Benedict's resignation just isn't the charismatic event the funeral of JPII was: it's unlikely airlines into Rome from many European destinations will sell out in the way they did the few days before JP II's funeral.

The Conclave rules were written on the assumption the previous Pope had died: they say a Conclave must start between 15 and 20 days after the Pope's death. The Vatican needs to decide whether the spirit of that rule means the next one starts 15-20 days after Benedict's resignation announcement or after the actual retirement date.

The decision will have to be in the next day or two: I'd say common sense calls for the cardinals to gather on Feb 28 for Benedict's final Mass as Pope, then start the conclave right after. But common sense and the Vatican don't always point in the same direction

That would have the new Pope announced round about March 5, giving him three weeks or so before presiding over the Holy Week services, which start on March 24.

If my predictions are right, there'll be a blip in Roman crowds around the Vatican from Feb 28 to March 5-ish. I doubt many foreigners would bother visiting Rome for an announcement they'll see better on TV - but the people of Rome have traditionally turned out in huge numbers to watch the funeral/conclave/coronation (now "installation") sequence every decade or so for most of the past 1500 years

But whatever the date of the conclave, the new Pope will be in post by Easter, and his annual Easter public address (as well as his presiding over the Easter liturgies) will certainly attract more crowds than usual. Rome's always busy at Easter: this year likely especially so.

Or I might be wrong.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 12:44 AM
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Flanneruk, do you think the 15-20 days is to allow for a period of mourning? Perhaps that can be waived In this case and they can start the process sooner. Just guessing.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 12:59 AM
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And, I suppose normally when the pope has died, then the cardinals need time to get to rome whereas this time they are all packing their bags even as I type this post.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 01:59 AM
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Of course, for visitors to Rome during the conclave, I presume that the Sistine Chapel will be off limits as that is the site of the conclave.
We attended an audience at the Vatican just before Christmas, and he certainly looked and sounded old and frail. i didn't think he'd have another Christmas in the role, but I'm surprised he has chosen the date and time for an orderly exit.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 03:09 AM
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Thanks for the extensive explanation, flanneruk! Since this is unprecedented in modern times, I'll just have to wait and see what happens in the last week of February. I'm just thankful my dates don't fall during the estimated timing of the new pope's installation.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 03:49 AM
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Thanks for the detailed explanation, flanneruk! I'll just have to hold my breath and hope things don't get too crazy towards the end of February.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 03:50 AM
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Eh sorry for the double (triple) posts, since there was supposedly an error that timed me out when I posted the first time.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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http://ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/...5_8239887.html OR http://tinyurl.com/awapjxr
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