The Conclave has begun

As of now, everything remains secret

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., time had come: accompanied by the singings of the Holy ,the 115 voting Cardinals moved into the Sistine Chapelon for the election of the 266. Pope. After the oath of secrecy, all except the voting Cardinals left the chapel. The doors of the Sistine Chapel were closed at 5:35 p.m., by the Master of Ceremonies Marini.
A first round of voting on Tuesday was considered likely. If this is the case, the smoke signal is expected at about 7:00 p.m.

Vatican installed “smoke cam”

The Vatican has launched a new service on its website: During the times when white or black smoke is to be expected, a video stream from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel will be available. The Vatican television service CTV has installed its own camera at about 10 yards distance from the chimney.

The LIVE STREAM can be found here: LIVE STREAM

After each of the two rounds of voting in the morning and afternoon, there will be a smoke signal, which should occur at about noon and 7:00 p.m.. In case the new Pope was elected in the first or third round of voting, the signal with white smoke for the successful election is given immediately. This would be around 10:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m..

Pope-election: U.S. Cardinals want time to talk

The U.S. Cardinals participating in the General Congregations for the preparation of the Conclave in the Vatican, want to take more time for discussions in regard to the election of the new Pope.

“This is the most important decision that some of us will ever make, and we need to give it the time that’s necessary,” Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston told journalists on Tuesday, after the second day of the pre-conclave meeting known as the General Congregation.

“I believe the feeling of the cardinals is we want to have enough time in the General Congregation so that when we go to the Conclave itself, it’s a time of a decision,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “The General Congregation is the time of discernment, and as much time as we need for discernment in prayer, reflection and getting information, then we need to use as much time as we have.”

Difficult task

On the question of whether the abuse scandals will complicate the choice of the future Pope, O’Malley replied: “The challenge for the Church is huge, and it is obvious that this complicates the election of a new Pope”

The Vatican continued preparations for the election of a successor of Pope Benedict XVI. on Tuesday. According to the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, 110 of the 115 cardinals under 80 who are eligible and expected to vote for the next Pope were present at the General Congregation March 5. The date of the beginning of the Conclave could thus be announced on Wednesday March 6.
Lombardi also told that, contrary to rumors, Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, was expected to arrive March 7.

It is expected that the conclave that elects the successor of Pope Benedict XVI., who resigned for reasons of age, will start next week. Thus the new Pope should be set in time for Easter.

Deadline for Conclave: Vatican wants earlier Pope-election

The conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. may take place earlier than previously announced. The Cardinals have plenty of time, even before 15 To arrive in March, said a Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. The verfication process whether this is in accordance with the Vatican’s Constitution is underway.

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Rome – Originally, the conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. was scheduled for March 15 – perhaps it is already held earlier. The Vatican constitution was under exemination to whether this is possible, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI. earlier this week announced his withdrawal from the Holy See at the end of the month. The successor¬† should be assigned before Easter. Normally, the conclave, the gathering of cardinals eligible to vote, meet 15 to 20 days after the beginning of the interregnum (“empty chair of Peter”).

The period of 15 days will make sure that the cardinals from around the world have plenty of time to get there, but the Cardinals already knew that Benedict’s pontificate was ending on February 28, and have enough time to check in. The rules of the Vatican allowed room for interpretation., and this issue is currently being discussed.

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The list of Cardinal Electors for the 2013 Papal Conclave

Cardinal Electors

NOTE: Cardinals that reach the age of 80 before the day the Holy See becomes vacant may not vote in a conclave.

Therefore Cardinal Lubomyr Husar from the Ukraine, born on Feb 26 1933, is not eligible to vote.

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Preparations are on

Federico Lombardi - Director of the Holy See Press Office¬†The conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. will take place 15 to 20 days after the beginning of the interregnum, after the resignation of Joseph Ratzinger on February 28. “If everything goes smoothly, it can be assumed, that the Conclave begins on the 15th of March”, the Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Wednesday at a press conference.

To determine the date for the beginning of the conclave, the Cardinals will meet for daily general Congregations , Lombardi reported. At these meetings, all incurred duties of the church are treated. This “Pre-Conclave” must also prepare the papal election.

In these Congregation meetings there are also permitted Cardinals aged over 80, that cannot participate in the elections. The panel is expected to include 117 cardinals. According to the Vatican, it should be clear until Easter, who will be the new pope. For the election of a pope, there are well-defined, strict rules.