Analogously to what is prescribed by the Apostolic Constitution “Universi dominici gregis” of February 22, 1996 at no. 19, for the case of death of the Sovereign Pontiff, I perform my duty to communicate officially to Your Eminence the news of the vacancy of the Apostolic See due to the resignation presented by Pope Benedict XVI, and effective since yesterday evening, February 28, at 8:00 pm in Rome.
In communicating the foregoing, I fulfill my duty to convoke Your Eminence to the first of the General Congregations of the College of Cardinals, to be held Monday, March 4 at 9:30 am in Paul VI Hall, in the room of the Synod of Bishops.
The General Congregations will then continue regularly, until the complete number of Cardinal electors has been reached and the College of Cardinals then decides the date of entrance into Conclave of those Cardinal electors as prescribed by the recent Motu Proprio of this past 22 February concerning some changes to the rules regarding the election of the Roman Pontiff.
For my part I am pleased to take this opportunity to extend my fraternal greetings.
Cordially in Domino,
+ Angelo Card. Sodano