The final five of the 115 cardinals who will be eligible to elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI are expected to arrive in the city Tuesday, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said.
Egyptian Patriarch Antonios Naguib, and Cardinals Karl Lehmann of Germany, Jean-Baptiste Pham of Vietnam, Kazimierz Nycz of Poland and John Tong Hon of Hong Kong were the cardinals yet to arrive.
A date for the conclave that will result in the election of the next pontiff will be chosen once the cardinals arrive.
Various factions are pushing for different dates for the conclave, CBC News correspondent Megan Williams reports from Rome.
"Cardinals [who live] in Rome would like to push the date up as soon as possible, because they have political advantage, in a sense," Williams said. "They live in Rome, they know the lay of the land, and they know the candidates much better."
Cardinals from out of town want more time, she said, because they aren't as plugged into the Vatican network.
There is also an element urging that the conclave date be pushed back so the election can be resolved quickly, Williams reported. "People's positions will get solidified, and they'll go into the voting with a much clearer idea of who they want to vote for."
The 2005 conclave that resulted in the election of Benedict required four votes over two days.
At Tuesday's meeting, the gathered cardinals sought information about the management of the Vatican bureaucracy, as some said they wanted to probe allegations of corruption and cronyism.
Lombardi declined to say which managers responded to the cardinals' queries, or if the questions related to some leaked Vatican documents.
Following Tuesday morning's formal proceedings, the assembled cardinals were expected to hold informal meetings in the afternoon.
While the pre-conclave business continued, other preparations for the election of a new pope continued, with the announcement that the Sistine Chapel will be closed to visitors on Tuesday.
In 2005, a false floor to hide anti-bugging devices was installed in the chapel, and a stove, which was used to burn the cardinals' ballots, was attached to the chapel's chimney.Suggest a correction