Papal X Factor: no Arab contestants but Lebanese cardinal as judge
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai (C) conducts a service at the Maronite Cathedral of Saint Anthony (Mar Antonios) in Bab Tuma, a predominantly Christian quarter of Damascus, on February 9, 2013. (AFP PHOTO / STR)
The NNA said that the appointment, effective Thursday, will last for the three preparatory days for the new pontiff’s election.
Rai, who left Monday to the Vatican to participate in the election of a new pope, was elected Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a consistory on Nov. 24, 2012.
Catholic cardinals from around the world began preparing for a conclave to elect a new pope last week, after the 85-year-old Benedict, the first pope to retire in 700 years, stepped down on Feb. 28, telling the world he would be a “pilgrim” on life’s last journey.
The Sistine Chapel, where the cardinals will eventually meet to make their decision on a successor to Pope Benedict, was closed Tuesday to prepare for the conclave.
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