02 March 2013

Letter of Convocation

Above is a copy of the letter of Convocations sent to each of the Cardinals convoking the first general Congregation of Cardinals following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.  When reading these, it is helpful for Americans to recall that the Italians generally have a much more elevated style of writing in correspondence.  Italian letter writing tends to include a great deal of formal elements, which sometimes seems odd to Americans.  Even so, I find this one relatively simple. 

Note the "SV/3".  In Rome, all issued documents get protocol numbers. The "SV" indicates that this is being issued during the period sede vacante.  This is the apparently the third document that was issued.

Below is my somewhat less than perfect translation:

From the Vatican, 1st March 2013


Lord Cardinal,

Analogously to what the Apostolic Constitution “Universi dominici gregis” of 22 February 1996 at no. 19, prescribes regarding the death of the Supreme Pontiff, I am carrying out the duty of officially communicating to Your Eminences the news of the vacancy of the Apostolic See by the resignation presented by Pope Benedict XVI, and effective yesterday evening, 28 February, at 20:00 in Rome.

By communicating when it proceeds, I am fulfilling the duty of Convoking Your Eminences to the first of the general Congregations of the College of Cardinals, to be held Monday 4 March at the hour of 09:00 in the Aula of Paul VI, the Hall of the Synod of Bishops.

Said general Congregations will then continue regularly, until the complete number of Cardinal electors is reached and the College of Cardinals then decides the date of the beginning of the Conclave of said Cardinal Electors according to what is prescribed by the recent Motu Proprio of 22 February last as to some modifications of the norms relative to the election of the Roman Pontiff.

On my part I am pleased to take such occation to extend to you my fraternal greetings.

Cordially in the Lord,
+Angelo Card. Sodano