Conclave to decide next pope to start after March 15 - Vatican
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The conclave to decide the successor to Pope Benedict will start as early as March 15, the Vatican said on Wednesday.
The conclave, when cardinals gather to elect a new pope, will start between 15 and 20 days from when the papal seat is vacated on February 28, Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told a news conference.
Pope Benedict stunned the Church on Monday when he announced the first papal abdication in centuries. Lombardi said Catholics should not be disoriented by Benedict's decision.
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