Today, at the end of the Ninth General Congregation of Cardinals in the period of the vacant see, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following statement to journalists:
"The ninth General Congregation of cardinals began at 9 this morning in the New Synod Hall in the presence of 140 cardinals.
"The cardinals discussed several articles of Chapter IV of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici gregis'. (Chapter IV: Faculties of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia during the vacancy of the Apostolic See)
"The assembly continued their exchange of ideas on the situation of the Church and the world.
"The cardinals received condolences from the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.
"Following the speech by Ambassador Giovanni Galassi of the Republic of San Marino, dean of the diplomatic corps, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, thanked the chiefs of mission, asking them to express the gratitude of the Sacred College to the authorities and the peoples whom they represent.
"Joining the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in greeting the diplomatic corps were Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, the vice dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the senior cardinal of the Order of Priests, Eugenio de Araujo Sales and the cardinal proto-deacon, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez.
"At the end of this morning's ninth congregation, the cardinals were given the series of 'sede vacante' stamps issued by the Philatelic Office of Vatican City.
"The recitation of the Regina Coeli concluded the meeting." -V.I.S.