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Cardinal Thomas Collins to Depart for Rome Sunday, February 24

TORONTO (21 February 2013) – Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, will depart for Rome on Sunday, February 24 to participate in the final papal audience of Pope Benedict XVI and begin preparations for the upcoming conclave, including meetings with the Holy Father and College of Cardinals.

Following the audience on February 27 and a meeting with cardinals the next day, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI will officially resign his role as the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion Catholics effective 8 p.m. on February 28. Cardinals representing the global church will then gather to meet and pray in a General Congregation before those eligible to vote will enter the conclave, where they will remain until a successor has been named.

The Archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Public Relations & Communications has created a special online space: www.archtoronto.org/pope where visitors can offer messages of gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI, learn more about the conclave process and view profiles of the 117 cardinals who will participate in the 2013 conclave.

The Archdiocese of Toronto is Canada’s largest diocese, encompassing 42 municipalities stretching from Toronto north to Georgian Bay and from Oshawa to Mississauga. It is home to 1.8 million Catholics and 225 churches, with Mass celebrated in more than 30 different languages each week.

Who: Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, spiritual leader of 1.8 million Catholics and elector in the 75th Conclave of the Roman Catholic Church.

When: Sunday, February 24, 2013 – 12 p.m. Mass. Cardinal Collins will meet with the media after presiding at the 12 noon Sunday Eucharist.

Where: St. Michael’s Cathedral, 65 Bond St., Toronto


Media Contacts:

Neil MacCarthy, Director, Public Relations & Communications, Archdiocese of Toronto
Phone: 416-934-3400 ext. 552
Cell: 416-879-2846
Email: neilm@archtoronto.org

Bill Steinburg, Communications Manager, Public Relations & Communications, Archdiocese of Toronto
Phone: (416) 934-3400 x 558
Cell: (416) 708-9655
Email:  bills@archtoronto.org



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