Today, at the end of the Seventh 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 134 cardinals present, after the opening prayer and after the three newly arrived cardinals swore their oath, proceeded to the designation, through choosing lots, of the three new cardinal assistants who, together with the camerlengo, compose the Particular Congregation (cf. Universi Dominici gregis, no 7). They are: Cardinals Angelo Sodano for the Order of Bishops, Polycarp Pengo for the Order of Priests and Walter Kasper for the Order of Deacons.
"The cardinals recommend to the bishops and priests of the Church to use the formula of the Mass 'pro eligendo Summo Pontifice' which is found in the edizione tipica (Latin edition) of the Roman Missal. In this sense the cardinals renewed with insistence their exhortation to all the People of God to accompany with intense prayers these days of preparation for the Conclave so that the Holy Spirit may assist the cardinal electors.
"Several cardinals will lead special prayers and Eucharistic celebrations in their titular churches in Rome.
"The General Congregation began to examine the expenses that must be incurred during the period of the vacant see and also examined the time of the General Congregations that, from now on, will begin at 9 a.m.
"I can add that the Vatican Grottoes will be open to the faithful starting on Wednesday April 13, at 7 a.m." -V.I.S.