Vatican City

Cardinals take part in last of 'general congregations'

Only those under 80 will enter conclave

Cardinals take part in last of 'general congregations'

Vatican City, March 11 - Cardinals gathered at the Vatican on Monday for the last of the general congregations meetings before the start of the conclave to elect Benedict XVI's successor on Tuesday. The general congregations, which started last Monday, enable the cardinals to get to know each other better and share ideas about what characteristics the next leader of the Catholic Church should have. Over 150 cardinals are taking part in the congregations, but only 115 will participate in the conclave because only those under 80 are eligible to vote. Over 100 cardinals made speeches at the general congregations last week, with only few speaking more than once. Many had still not had the chance to make an address before proceedings resumed just after 9.30am Italian time Monday.

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