Rome

Church to have new pope 'within days', says Schoenborn

Conclave to elect Benedict XVI's successor starts Tuesday

Church to have new pope 'within days', says Schoenborn

Rome, March 11 - The Catholic Church should have a new pope within days, according to Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schoenborn, one of the cardinals who will take part in the conclave that starts Tuesday. "In a few days we will have the new Holy Father," said Schoenborn. "Without betraying the pontifical secret, I'm not doing a VatiLeaks, I can say that I have encountered a spirit of fraternity I've rarely experienced in this week of meetings between cardinals," he added referring to the pre-conclave 'general congregations'. The conclave to elect the 266th pontiff follows the shock resignation of Benedict XVI, who on February 28 became the first pope to abdicate in 600 years. Benedict, 85, stepped down after announcing on February 11 that he no longer had the mental and physical strength to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

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