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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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Who Runs the Catholic Church Between Popes?

Question:

Who ran the Catholic Church after John Paul II died and before Benedict XVI was elected?

Answer:

During an interregnum (Latin: “between reigns”), the day-to-day business of the Church is administered by the cardinal camerlengo (chamberlain). The camerlengo during the interregnum of 2005 was Eduardo Cardinal Martinez Somalo. The camerlengo does not make any decisions that are not of immediate necessity to the administration of the Church. Any decision that is not urgent to the running of the Church is postponed until a new pope is elected.

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