Yesterday morning, the Cardinals met for the first time since the “sede vacante”, to prepare the conclave which will elect Benedict’s successor.
Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman said that 142 cardinals attended the first preparatory congregation of the conclave, which developed in a “cordial, serene and constructive” environment. From these group, 103 are cardinal electors, it means they are under 80 years old and may enter the Sistine Chapel to elect the next pontiff.
On the first day, participants swore with one hand on the Bible and before a crucifix, secrecy about what will be discussed at the meetings and the measures to be taken.
During the first meeting, thirteen cardinals intervened, and in the second, during the afternoon, it was the turn of the Pontifical Household preacher, Franciscan Raniero Cantalamessa, who carried out the first of two planned meditations.