Benedict XVI analyzes the possibility to bring forward the date of the conclave
The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, announced that Pope Benedict XVI may issue a decree, called Motu Proprio, to move forward the conclusion of the conclave after he leaves the papacy on February 28.
“The pope is considering publishing, in the upcoming days a Motu Proprio, to clarify some points of the constitution of the conclave. We do not know if it will be appropriate to address the issue of the deadline of the conclave (…) In any case depends on the assessment of the Pope. If he chooses to sign, it will be released shortly.”
According to the apostolic constitution, to elect a successor to the Pope, the conclave must begin “from a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 20”, from the moment the “sede vacante” is decreed, scheduled for February 28, at 20:00, the time that Benedict XVI chose to leave the throne.
The constitution establishes the time of 15 to 20 days to allow the Cardinals to get to Rome to attend the funeral and pay solemn respect sand mourn he death of a pontiff. In this case, as it is a waiver, which rarely happened in the ancient history of the Catholic Church, it is possible that all cardinals are in Rome and not have to wait.