Rorate Caeli

5 Electors still missing - and also...

The Holy See Press Office confirmed today that, of the 115 Cardinal-Electors who will come to the Conclave, 5 have still not arrived to take part at the General Congregations: Cardinal Lehmann (Mainz), Cardinal Naguib (Alexandria Patriarch Emeritus), Cardinal Nycz (Warsaw), Cardinal Pham Minh Mân (Vietnam), Cardinal Tong Hon (Hong Kong).

The conclave cannot be anticipated from the 15th if all participating Cardinal-Electors are not present. When all 115 are present, a simple majority of those present may vote for its anticipation, according to the last motu proprio of Benedict XVI.

And also this, from the Vatican Information Service:

There was also a proposal, endorsed by the Particular Congregation, to dedicate tomorrow afternoon to prayer in St. Peter's Basilica. The Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, will lead the prayers. This initiative will also serve as an invitation to the entire Church to pray at this important moment. The ceremony is open to the public so any faithful who so desire may attend.

In conclusion, the text of a telegram for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, which was signed by Cardinal Dean Sodano, was approved. It reads: “To His Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Castel Gandolfo. The Cardinal Fathers, gathered at the Vatican for the General Congregations in view of the next conclave, send you their devoted greetings and express their renewed gratitude for all your illustrious Petrine ministry and for your example of generous pastoral care for the good of the Church and of the world. With their gratitude they hope to represent the recognition of the entire Church for your tireless work in the vineyard of the Lord. In conclusion, the members of the College of Cardinals trust in your prayers for them, as well as for the whole Church.”


  1. Alexandriensis1:07 PM

    His Beatitude Anthony I, Cardinal Naguib, the previous Coptic Catholic (Pope and?) Patriarch of Alexandria, suffered a stroke on New Year's Eve 2012, which led to partial paralysis, and necessitated brain surgery; this was the reason for his resignation and subsequent replacement by Abraham Isaac I, the current occupant of the Apostolic See of St. Mark.

    Praying that he may be given strength and grace to participate in the Conclave...

  2. Why the delay, they've known since 11th Feb. Can anyone profile the missing cardinals?

  3. Why the delay, they've known since 11th Feb. Can anyone profile the missing cardinals?

  4. Except for health reasons (which would allow them to be excluded anyway) I fail to understand why anyone would not be there yet. After all, they knew this was coming.

    Last time I checked they had regular air service out of Hong Kong to the rest of the world. And Mainz? Heck you could make it from Mainz to Rome on horseback in two weeks!

    I apologize if I seem disrespectful, but this is a bit absurd.

  5. Truth Seeker3:25 PM

    On another site I follow, someone suggested adopting a cardinal as the one's special intention of prayer until the new Pope is elected.

    Isn't that a wonderful idea?

  6. I think it would be very good to fast tomorrow.

  7. Cardinal Nycz of Warsaw took part in the Pope's farewell ceremony on February 28th.

  8. Benedict Carter5:01 PM

    Truth Seeker:

    Honestly? It sounds like a very silly idea to me. No special reason for saying it, it sounds too much I think like "Adopt a Moggie" or similar.

  9. To be fair, Cardinal Naguib (Alexandria Patriarch Emeritus), and Cardinal Pham Minh Mân (Vietnam),might be having trouble with their governments.

  10. porys5:05 PM

    Kazimierz Card. Nycz - came back to Warsaw for two days - because yesterday was his namesday (St. Casimir). (Celebrating namesday is more popular in Poland then birthday)

  11. This is the same Cardinal Sodano who tried mightily to prevent the election of Cardinal Ratzinger in 2005. Now it seems he is mustering his "old guards" to have Sandri elected. He is a double-faced politician disguising as a prince of the church.


  12. Some serious lack of judgement perhaps ?

    We must rather be praying for the cardinals, the princes our of Church, than taking it upon ourselves to criticise them for their travel arrangements.

  13. Anonymous7:20 PM

    You can fly from Mainz to Rome in a very short time: Frankfurt airport is not far away.

    I can't see why Lehmann should be in Rome already. The later he arrives, the lesser the damage.


  14. Sidney Jude, Third Order, SSPX7:53 PM

    I did adopt a cardinal and am praying for him daily.

  15. Anonymous8:32 PM

    By delaying their arrival, they can single handedly delay the conclave. My understanding is that there are Cardinals that are not in favor of moving the start of conclave up from the 15th. The later the conclave the more it removes an advantage of the Italian block of electors.

  16. There was a suggestion in "The Moynihan Letters" that one or more of the cardinals is delaying his arrival to ensure that the conclave is not rushed.

    I don't know if this is true, but I think on the whole that it is better for the Cardinals to take their time for the good of the Church.


  17. Anonymous9:38 PM

    There is a site called and when you get there all you have to do is put in your name and e-mail address and if you are fortunate enough you can get through and be assigned a Cardinal. I was given Cardinal Francis George and so now I am praying for him everyday. Go check it out.

  18. Peccator9:52 PM

    As regards their Eminences Cardinal Tong of Hong Kong and Cardinal Pham Minh Man of Saigon, there is always the possibility of government interference. Also, one or more of the absent cardinals may be postponing their arrival in order to postpone the date of the conclave. I don't see any reason to rush into this decision, but there are reports that certain curialists wish to do just that.

  19. Patriarch emeritus Naguib seems to be the only one with a proper excuse, although he has said he definately wants to go to the Conclave.

    No idea why the others are missing, and I'm surprised nobody seems to be asking them... Maybe I missed something!

  20. I wonder if this is political at all.

    Broad brush but the curial cardinals want a quick conclave to get "their" candidate elected. Some of the cardinals - I'm thinking here of Card. Meisner and Lehmann (no allies but both German) may be trying to slow things down on purpose.

    As far as the HK one is concerned - I think he's just finished his diocesan lenten spiritual retreat - but I could be wrong.

    IMO - the sooner the conclave, and the sooner the Pope the better. The longer this general congregation process draws out the greater the chance of disunity - the Pope is central to the unity of the Church.

    I wonder too if the eminent Cardinals are enjoying the attention and the 'power' a bit too much. All the importance is on them now that there is no Pope. Get on with it already.

  21. GQ Rep3:31 AM

    Considering what he stands for and his agenda, I hpe Lehmann of Mainz doesn;t show up to participate.

    He's among the most radical of the radical liberals!

  22. GQ Rep3:55 AM

    Sorry to be off subject, but has anyone seen the chalices that the Cardinals will use to place their votes?

    Over at Fr. Z's blog ( there is a picture of the magnificent chalice they used up until now....and then a picture of the (excuse me, but it's the only word that suffices) trash that was comissioned by John Paul II for this use of collecting Cardinals votes.

    Considering his proclivity for circus Masses and other liturgical novelties, this should come as no surprise.
    They look like mini models of alien spaceships. And cheap materials as well. Tasteless artwork.

    It's of the quality of that infamous statue of JPII that was put up in Rome last year.

  23. Alexandriensis9:59 AM

    Two are left:


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