Vatican teams work through Novendial
79 CARDINALS EXPECTED
From Our Own Correspondents
WITH the Nine Days of Mourning for Pope John XXIII
already half over, teams of Vatican builders are working feverishly to seal off the area in the Vatican palace where the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church will gather next week to elect the Church's 262nd Sovereign Pontiff.
The Conclave will open on Wednesday next, June 19, Workmen are now walling up all entrances apart from the main. door, blacking out the windows, installing the stove where the ballot papers will burn, and arranging furniture in the Cardinal Electors' cells.
For the first time in history, the Sistine Chapel, where the Cardinals cast their votes, will be fitted out with a set of microphones.
This Conclave will probably see 79 of the 82 members of the Sacred College in attendance. Cardinals Micara and Chiarlo are sick, and Cardinal Mindszenty is not expected to leave his sanctuary in the American Legation in Budapest. .1 he numbers are creating such problems that the General Congregation of Cardinals has decided to limit the number of Conclavists to one assistant to each Elector.
The rule may be varied in the case of Cardinals requiring special attention because of age or ill health.
On Monday next. June 17, the Novendial will end. Last week. while Pope John's body lay in state for three days in St. Peter's, as many as 2.000,000 mourners crowded through to pay their last farewell. Now. on Monday, 50 nations will send representatives to the last Solemn Requiem Mass, when the eulogy will be preached by the Secretary of Latin Letters, Mgr. Giuseppe Del Ton.
The Queen will be represented by the Earl of Perth, President Kennedy by Vice-President Lyndon Johnson. Cardinal Tisserant will sing the Mass, assisted by Cardinals Wyszynski and Li6nart.
On Wednesday. the Cardinals will assemble in St. Peter's for a special Mass of the Holy Ghost. when they will hear an address on the qualities desirable in a new Pontiff. This will he delivered by Mgr, Amleto Tondini, Secretary of Papal Briefs to Princes.
Then, vested in violet cassocks, rochets and pectoral crosses, they will move to the Conclave area. The first ballot will be taken on Thursday. Ballots are usually taken four times a day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
To avoid the confusion caused by indeterminate smoke at the time of Pope John's election, the burning of ballot papers will be assisted by chemical methods, to ensure that clear black smoke will Continued on Back Page