A meditation from the recent conclave on the Smoke of Satan and the Church

“The evil spirit of the world, the ‘mysterium iniquitatis’ (2 Thes 2:7), constantly strives to infiltrate the Church. Moreover, let us not forget the warning of the prophets of ancient Israel not to seek alliances with Babylon or with Egypt, but to follow a pure policy ‘ex fide’ trusting solely in God (cf. Is 30:1; 31:1-3; Hos 12:2) and in his covenant. Courage! Christ relieves our minds when he exclaims: ‘Have trust, I have overcome the world’ (Jn 16:33).”

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A kind of theological narcissism…

HAVANA (AP) — Pope Francis issued a strong critique of the church before the College of Cardinals just hours before it selected him as the new pontiff, according to comments published Tuesday by a Roman Catholic magazine in Cuba.

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Habemus Datam – Conclave Starts Tuesday, March 12.

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While the governing meetings – which have been attempting to shape the desired “profile” of the next Pope – will continue at least into tomorrow, the appointed day for the voting will begin with the Mass Pro Eligendo Pontifice (for the Election of the Roman Pontiff) concelebrated by all the cardinals at midmorning in St Peter’s Basilica.

Then, late Tuesday afternoon, the electors will gather in the Pauline Chapel, processing from there into the Sistina as the Litany of the Saints is chanted.

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Illustration submitted by Frank V.

Conclave 101: How a pope is elected

The written rules for the conclave, which have developed in reaction to the problems — political and moral — that have arisen throughout history, are “rigid and highly formal,” the bishop said.

For example, he said, Pope Paul VI’s rules excluded cardinals who were 80 years old or older on the day the conclave began. Blessed John Paul changed the rule to 80 years on the day the papacy became vacant. The change ensured cardinals did not choose a conclave start date specifically to include or exclude a cardinal close to the age of 80.

Under current rules, only cardinals who are under the age of 80 Feb. 28, the last day of Pope Benedict’s pontificate — can vote in the conclave. There were 117 cardinals eligible, but Feb. 21 Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, the 78-year-old retired archbishop of Jakarta, announced he would not travel to Rome because of his health.

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