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College of Cardinals May Set Date of Conclave on Monday

9:02 PM, Mar 2, 2013   |    comments
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ROME - Speculation continues over who will become the next leader of the Catholic church, as the pope emeritus adjusts to life after retirement.

The men who must choose the next pope -- the college of cardinals -- will spend the weekend taking every opportunity to talk. They're expected to gather Monday morning to announce the date of the conclave -- the papal election.

There's plenty lot of speculation on who could be next to sit on the throne of Saint Peter, but the Vatican's media advisor even told NBC News it could be someone from outside the cardinals.

Any baptized male can be elected pope so the cardinals have it within their power to reach outside their own ranks to choose the successor to Benedict XVI. It would be exceptional but it could happen

One cardinal has said that, seeing Benedict's health in decline, the next selection must be someone in good health so it doesn't become commonplace for popes to step down after a few years.

NBC News

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