Last Thursday Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign. With his resignation now official, the Catholic Church is in a period known as the “sede vacante”- which means vacant seat- and the College of Cardinals has begun meeting in Rome to discuss the start of the conclave which will elect the new pope.
Lots of you had questions about this process. Karen Marks asked: How do they come up with the nominees?
Mariana tweeted: A resigning pope is big deal, does it mean they will be more open to changes? Like women holding priesthood? Younger popes?
Adrienne McCarthy inquired: Once chosen, can the individual refuse?
Esther Potter wrote in on Facebook: Okay, I'll bite. Who exactly is in charge during this interregnum? Are Catholics on their own spiritually until the next Pope is named? Is the old one still involved? Or are there acting pope-like individuals who carry on the work?
And Stuart Countryman asked: What are the chances they will have a newRead More »from Papal politics: Will a new pope be selected by Palm Sunday?