ROME—Welcome. Articles of Faith, the Globe’s religion blog, is back—and in Rome to cover the election of the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
Everyone here is anxiously awaiting word of when the conclave will begin. The big news so far today is that all of the cardinals are finally here.
The College of Cardinals has been holding confidential meetings since Monday to discuss the issues confronting the church and begin formulating ideas about who might be the best choice for pontiff. The cardinals had to wait until all 115 electors arrived to set a conclave date. Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Vietnam arrived in Rome today, so they can finally proceed.
Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles, who has ignored calls by lay groups to recuse himself from voting because of his failure to remove abusive priests from office, tweeted this afternoon: “Days of General Congregations reaching a conclusion. Setting of the date for conclave nearing. Mood of excitement prevails among cardinals.”
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican, told reporters this afternoon that if the cardinals set a date later in the day, he would announce it after 7 p.m. Rome time (that’s 1 p.m. Boston time).
But the Vatican just confirmed: No date yet.
The cardinals will be back at it tomorrow.