Conclave electing new pope could start before March 15: VaticanSubmitted by Bob-45 on Sat, 02/16/2013 - 23:35
By Philip Pullella | Reuters – 2 hours 55 minutes ago
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The conclave to choose Pope Benedict's successor could start earlier than expected, giving the Roman Catholic Church a new leader by mid March, the Vatican said on Saturday.
Less than two weeks away from a historic papal resignation, the Vatican also stressed again that the pope was not abandoning the Church in times of difficulties and urged the faithful to trust in God and in the next pope.
Five days after Benedict announced his resignation in Latin to a small group of cardinals, the Vatican was still in a state of spiritual and bureaucratic shock, groping for ways to deal with a situation without precedent for at least six centuries.