Vatican City, Apr 11, 2005 / 22:00 pm
As cardinals from around the globe prepare to enter the Sistine Chapel on Monday to elect a new shepherd for the Catholic Church, the Vatican is asking faithful worldwide to unite themselves in prayer to the historic event.
"The entire Church,” read a note from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, “spiritually united with Mary Mother of Jesus, and called to persevere unanimously in prayer following the example of the first Christian community, lifts humble and insistent prayers to the Lord, that He may illuminate the minds of the electors and bring them to agreement, in order to obtain a prompt and unanimous election of the new Pope."
In the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 18, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at a Mass "for the election of the Roman Pontiff," which will be concelebrated by the other cardinal electors.
The statement from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations stated that, "in order to show communion in prayer on the part of the entire Church at such an important moment, cardinal non-electors, bishops, priests, deacons, and members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life are also earnestly invited to participate in the celebration, as are the lay faithful of all God's people present in Rome."