Cardinals gathered in Rome waiting to begin the election process for a new pope have been briefed on the state of the Vatican’s finances.
Amid suspicions about the Holy See’s bank which has been the focus of several scandals, the heads of the Vatican’s three main financial offices revealed what the new pope will have to contend with – albeit behind closed doors.
With no date yet fixed for the start of the conclave the cardinals are bringing themselves up to speed about the state of the church generally.
Journalist Ignazio Ingrao who covers the Vatican for Italian weekly newspaper ‘Panorama’ gave euronews his opinion: “The Cardinals prefer to define the priorities facing the Church and then to define a sort of ‘identikit’ of the future Pope in relation to urgent Church issues. I think they will then set the date for the conclave when they will have begun moving towards agreeing on the type of pope they want.”
Once the conclave starts, there is little time for discussion. There are two votes in the morning and two in the afternoon – all conducted in silent prayer. So the start of the conclave in effect marks an end to all the talking.