Roman Catholic

Cardinals Finish First Round of Pope Meetings

Discussions of better transparency in the church

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As possible front-runners emerged ahead of a conclave to elect the next pope, Roman Catholic cardinals Monday wrapped up a week of discussion on issues facing the church, with some pushing unsuccessfully to extend their talks before the start of balloting.

In their last scheduled pre-conclave gathering on Monday morning, 28 cardinals addressed their colleagues, more than in any of the other sessions of the so-called general congregations. Over 150 speeches have been made since the meetings started last Monday. 

After numerous cardinals discussed the Vatican's scandal-ridden and much criticized internal workings over the week, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, on Monday addressed attempts to bring transparency to the Vatican bank, which has long been tainted by money-laundering allegations.