7 Mar 2013

Papal conclave date still not set yet

8:25 am on 7 March 2013

Suspense over the date of the conclave to elect a new pope has intensified as some cardinals call for more time to debate problems facing the Catholic church.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper said in an interview with La Repubblica that a new horzontal way of governing the Church is needed.

Referring to the Vatican's governing body, he said the Curia must be revolutionised.

Many hope the new pope will tackle the corruption alleged in secret papal documents leaked to the press last year.

"I think the Curia in general, beyond whatever emerges from Vatileaks, needs to be revolutionised.

''And as well as the word 'reform', there must be a second: 'transparency'. The Curia must begin to open up, and not fear transparency," Cardinal Kasper said.

"This is time for a long reflection. This conclave needs to be prepared calmly. There is no hurry,"

he said.

US cardinals are also in no hurry.

"We are not ready yet.," said Cardinal Francis George.

"We have to take all the time we need." said Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

Before he retired on 28 February, Benedict XVI authorised cardinals to move the date of the conclave forward from the usual 15 - 20 days following his departure, since they are not mourning a dead pope.