1-March-2013 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Papal apartments, basilica sealed for sede vacante

CardinalTarcisio Bertone sealed off the papal apartments, marking the beginning of the sedevacante, the period when there is no Pope.

The head of the ApostolicChamber, an office that only operates during the time of sede vacante and takescare of papal properties, closed and sealed the Vatican's papal apartment doorsat 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 28.

The Holy See's Secretaryof State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, is the leader of the group and he is knownas the chamberlain or camerlengo.

He serves as theacting head of state until a Pope is elected and is also the administrator ofthe Holy See's properties and revenues.

Cardinal Bertonelocked the apartment's front entrance after it was sealed with tape, a redribbon was tied around the door handles and it was sealed with red wax and aVatican stamp.

A seal was alsoplaced on the papal apartment's elevator that the Pope uses to go down to thethird floor to deliver his Angelus remarks.

The Secretary ofState's second in command, Archbishop Giovanni A. Becciu, sent a letter at 8:00p.m. to every Vatican embassy telling them to address all diplomatic affairs tohimself and to the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

At the sametime, Swiss guards left their stations outside the papal villa in CastelGandolfo, since Benedict XVI is no longer Pope.

On March 1 at12:30 p.m., Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, the vice chamberlain, also sealed theArchbasilica of Saint John Lateran, since it is the official seat of the Bishopof Rome.

Cardinal Sodano,the dean of the College of Cardinals, will be heading the cardinals' general meetingsup until the actual conclave takes place. The first of those gatherings willtake place at 9:30 a.m. on March 4 in the Bishops' Synod Hall.

This meansCardinal Bertone is in charge of the Vatican's administrative work, while CardinalSodano is in charge of spiritually leading the cardinals in preparing for theupcoming election.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Vatican.php?id=7144#ixzz2MKVXdbZc

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