The idea is to have the new pope elected during next week and officially installed several days later so he can preside over the Holy Week ceremonies starting with Palm Sunday on March 24 and culminating in Easter the following Sunday.
The general congregations, closed-door meetings in the interregnum between a papacy and the conclave to choose the next one, will hold morning and afternoon sessions in an apparent effort to discuss as much as possible in a short time.
The list of challenges facing the crisis-hit Church could take weeks to debate, but the
High on the agenda will be Church governance after last year's Vatileaks scandal exposed corruption and rivalries in the Vatican's Curia bureaucracy. Cardinals expect to be briefed on a secret report to the pope on the problems it highlighted.
Voice of Russia, Reuters