Eleven U.S. cardinals will take part in the conclave beginning tomorrow to elect a new pope. (CNS graphic/Paul Haring and Nancy Phelan Wiechec)
I have counted how many of the eleven deserve to be there;
Your readers might be interested to know that one of these 11 American Cardinals has two significant, if only symbolic, roles to play during the Conclave. Firstly, each time the Master of the Papal Liturgical Ceremonies gives the cry “Extra Omnes”, it doesn’t just happen on te first day, it is the Junior Cardinal Deacon who has the responsibility of closing the huge wooden doors of the Sistine Chapel behind those who have to leave. On this occasion, the Junior Cardinal Deacon is James Michael Cardinal Harvey.
It will also be Cardinal Harvey who prior to each voting session will draw the lots for the nine cardinal electors who will act as the three Scrutineers, the three Infirmarii and the three Revisers for each session. Each session, except on the Tuesday evening will consist, potentially, of two ballots.
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