Friday, April 01, 2005

The Signs of the Times

Here's a link from Jimmy Akin's blog that details the signals the Vatican might use in order to announce to the faithful that the Pope has died. I've been trying to find information about the conclave, etc., by digging through my bookmarks, but all of the sources I would normally turn to are practically shut down due to high traffic at this time (as would be expected). I think that it's safe to say the announcement will be official and unmistakeable, coming from the Carmelengo, and we could probably expect to hear from Ratzinger not too long afterwards. If my memory serves, that's followed by a novena of mourning days during which no real activity is undertaken in terms of progress forward - in fact, for all intensive purposes, the Vatican becomes "frozen" during that time. Then, the Cardinals will be invited to Conclave, which convenes between 15 and 20 days after the death of the pontiff.

Wherever the Church is headed, the best anyone can do now is pray, and have hope and faith in the Holy Spirit's guidance in the upcoming days.

UPDATE - 4/1/05 - 2350 hrs

This article from Zenit might put at ease those people anxiously watching for lights to be put out in a window or some such thing. When the moment comes, it will be clear and definitive. A few excerpts:
Media speculations prematurely announcing John Paul II's death surprised the Pope's vicar for the diocese of Rome.

As specificed by the apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," promulgated by John Paul II in 1996, the Pope's vicar for the diocese of Rome is to announce the Holy Father's death to the Roman people with a special notification, and will prescribe the intercessory prayers that must be recited in churches.

Before the official notification is announced, the Pope's death must be officially confirmed by the chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church. The current chamberlain is Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo.

The chamberlain, who may be assisted by the medical staff, will be introduced into the Pope's apartments by the prefect of the Pontifical Household, who is at present Archbishop James Harvey.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini is the appointed vicar mentioned by the article whose job it will be to provide the official notification in the square.


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