Pope Benedict’s unexpected resignation has set in motion the centuries-old process of electing a new pope. All cardinals are summoned to Rome for a meeting at the Vatican which is followed by the Papal election, or Conclave. If a new pope is to be in place in time for Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and leading up to Easter, he will need to be installed by Sunday, March 17. This raises the possibility that the conclave could start sooner than March 15, the earliest date possible under current rules.
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