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Rai appointed assistant cardinal to Vatican camerlengo
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The head of Lebanons Maronite Catholic Church Beshara Rai has been selected as one of three assistant cardinals to the camerlengo at the Vatican for a period of three days, the National News Agency said.

The NNA said that the appointment, effective Thursday, would take place during the preparation period to the conclave that will elect the next pope.

According to the Briefing on the Fifth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals published on the Vaticans website Thursday, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya and Cardinal Velasio De Paolis were also appointed as assistants to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, camerlengo of the Catholic Church, for the same period.

The briefing said the three cardinals were elected to serve on the particular congregation, the executive that aids the camerlengo. The particular congregation, which deals with the day-to-day matters of the Catholic Church, is chosen by lot every three days.

Rai, who left Monday to the Vatican to participate in the election of a new pope, was elected cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a consistory on Nov. 24, 2012.

Catholic cardinals from around the world began preparing for a conclave to elect a new pope last week, after the Pope Benedict stepped down on Feb. 28.

The Sistine Chapel, where the election of the new pope takes place, was closed Tuesday to prepare for the conclave.