2 to Skip Conclave Due to Illness

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 10, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Due to illness, two cardinals will not participate in the conclave to elect a new pope, making the number of cardinal electors 115.

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Cardinal Jaime Sin, the retired archbishop of Manila, Philippines, and Cardinal Adolfo Suárez Rivera, retired archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, have informed the Vatican that they will not participate in the conclave “for reasons of health,” said Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls on Saturday.

The conclave begins Monday, April 18.

If able to travel, ill cardinals may participate in the conclave. The apostolic constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis,” which establishes the rules of the conclave, states that, if necessary for reasons of health, a cardinal elector may have a nurse with him, “including during the election period.”

If one or more cardinals, residing in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, were to fall ill and be unable to go to the Sistine Chapel to vote, three “Infirmarii” — cardinals elected by drawing lots — will be in charge of collecting their votes, with the appropriate guarantees as established in the constitution.

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