Feb 16, 2013
By Bob Komsic
The Vatican is raising the possibility that the conclave to elect the next pope might start earlier than March 15 – the earliest date possible under current rules that require a 15-20 day waiting period after the papacy becomes vacant.
That rule is in place to allow all cardinals, who are absent, time to gather in Rome
But a Vatican spokesman points out the cardinals already know that this pontificate will end on Feb. 28 and can get to Rome in plenty of time.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi says top officials can study the Holy See’s constitution to determine whether such a rule change is possible.
He adds the Vatican rules are open to interpretation and that ”this is a question that people are discussing.”