Vatican City

Benedict changes some rites for enthroning new pope

Ceremonies to be performed outside mass

Benedict changes some rites for enthroning new pope

Vatican City, February 22 - Pope Benedict XVI has made changes to the rites performed at the beginning of a pontificate, Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano reported Friday. The changes pertain to two ceremonies: the celebration of the start of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, and the celebration of the enthronement at the basilica of St John Lateran in Rome. Both rites, in which all cardinals present in Rome will participate, shall now be performed before the holy mass. The changes were finalized during a papal audience with Father Guido Marini, master of pontifical liturgical celebrations, on Monday, the daily said. Furthermore the new pope will no longer be required to immediately visit the two papal basilicas of Saint Paul outside the Walls and Saint Mary Major, but "when he finds it most opportune" to do so, said Marini. The change of the rules was one of the final acts of Benedict before formally stepping down next Thursday. The conclave to elect his successor is expected to commence by mid-March.

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