Benedict, who will not be involved in the election, will not get any advance notice of who his successor will be, Roscia said. The pope emeritus will find out who has been elected at the same time as the rest of the world.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan of Mexico, who turned 80 last month and so is not a cardinal-elector, would not be drawn to comment Wednesday on who the next pope might be.
As to whether the cardinals are talking to each other about it now, he told CNN: "There are contacts, of course there are contacts. But what people talk about, who knows?
"There is a saying in Rome: He who enters the conclave as a possible pope comes out a cardinal."
Mired in scandal
Benedict's resignation opens up the prospect of unforeseen opportunities and challenges for the Roman Catholic Church.
Many are wondering whether a new pontiff will choose to lead the church in a different direction -- and can lift it out of the mire of scandal that has bogged down this pope's time in office.
Even as Benedict's final week began, Vatican officials were trying to swat down unsavory claims by Italian publications of an episode involving gay priests, male prostitutes and blackmail. Then the news broke that Benedict had moved up the resignation of a Scottish archbishop linked over the weekend by a British newspaper to inappropriate relationships with priests.
Last year, leaks of secret documents from the pope's private apartment -- which revealed claims of corruption within the Vatican -- prompted a high-profile trial of his butler and a behind-doors investigation by three cardinals.
Their report, its contents known so far only to Benedict, will be handed to his successor to deal with, the Vatican said.
Vatican magistrates may have authorized the tapping of two or three telephone lines during the cardinals' inquiry into the leaks, Lombardi acknowledged Thursday, responding to a report in the Italian weekly magazine Panorama that claimed a large-scale surveillance operation had been run.
Lombardi denied there had been "a massive" operation on the scale reported by the magazine, saying there is "no foundation" for the article. Roscia said that if there was any wiretapping or surveillance, "it's a very small process."
Both spokesmen denied that the operation had been ordered by the three cardinals, saying that if it had happened, it was ordered by magistrates.
At the same time, the church faces continued anger about what many see as its failure to deal with child sex abuse by priests.
So, when Benedict announced on February 11 that he would step down, there was inevitable speculation that his move was in some way linked to the brewing scandals.
Dolan, the most senior Catholic cleric in the United States, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that there was an urgent need for a recovery and renewal in the church
The new pope won't seek to alter the teachings of the church, but could change the way they are presented, Dolan said.
'The Lord seemed to sleep'
The danger for the Vatican is that the scandals risk overshadowing what others see as Benedict's real legacy to the church: his teaching and writings, including three papal encyclicals.
Proof of the Vatican's irritation came with a stinging statement Saturday complaining of "unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories," even suggesting the media is trying to influence the election of the next pope.
The constant buffeting by scandal will doubtless also have taken a toll on an 85-year-old man whose interests lie in scholarly study and prayer rather than damage control.
Benedict suggested as much at his final general audience Wednesday, when in front of cheering crowds in St. Peter's Square he spoke of steering the church through sometimes choppy waters.
There had been "many days of sunshine," he said, but also "times when the water was rough ... and the Lord seemed to sleep."
Benedict also called for a renewal of faith, and for the prayers of Catholics around the world both for him and his successor.
Italian iReporter Giovanni Francia was in St. Peter's Square to witness the scene. "There was a good atmosphere, (but) full of the sense we have lost a sort of 'grandfather,'" he said. "Now we are a little more alone."