.- As Monday’s papal conclave itself draws ever nearer; Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released a statement today on the Ninth General Congregation of Cardinals, which met this morning. 140 cardinals participated in this morning’s Congregation.
In the statement, Navarro-Valls wrote that, "The cardinals discussed several articles of Chapter IV of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici gregis’ (Chapter IV: Faculties of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia during the vacancy of the Apostolic See), and that, they “continued their exchange of ideas on the situation of the Church and the world.
He also noted that, "The cardinals received condolences from the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.”
"Following the speech by Ambassador Giovanni Galassi of the Republic of San Marino, dean of the diplomatic corps, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, thanked the chiefs of mission, asking them to express the gratitude of the Sacred College to the authorities and the peoples whom they represent.”
"Joining the dean of the College of Cardinals,” the press director said, “Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in greeting the diplomatic corps were Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, the vice dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the senior cardinal of the Order of Priests, Eugenio de Araujo Sales and the cardinal proto-deacon, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez.”
The statement also noted that,"the cardinals were given the series of 'sede vacante' stamps issued by the Philatelic Office of Vatican City”, and that, "The recitation of the Regina Coeli concluded the meeting."