Lifestyle & Belief

Papal conclave to elect new pope set for Tuesday, Vatican says (VIDEOS)


Filipino cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (L) attends a meeting of prayer at St. Peter's Basilica on March 6, 2013, in Vatican City. The cardinals have set their papal conclave to elect a new pope for Tuesday, March 12, 2013.


Franco Origlia

Roman Catholic cardinals will begin their closed-door papal conclave to elect a new pope on Tuesday, the Vatican announced today.

A total of 115 cardinals will take part in the elaborate ritual, voting up to four times a day at the Sistine Chapel until a two-thirds majority is reached, The Huffington Post reported.

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The first day will begin with a Mass in the morning at St. Peter's Basilica, followed by the first round of voting in the afternoon, according to The Associated Press.

No papal conclave has lasted longer than five days in the past 100 years.

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It took just two days to cardinals to elect Pope Benedict XVI as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in 2005, according to CNN.

This year's conclave follows Benedict's surprise resignation last month after an eight-year reign marred by sex abuse scandals.

The meetings have traditionally been very secretive. Cardinals are searched upon entry to the Sistine Chapel for cellphones and pagers, and all TVs and telephone wires are removed from the Chapel and the cardinals' quarters, according to NBC News.

The paper ballots are burned after each vote. Black smoke indicates no successor has been named, while white smoke means a new pope has been selected.

While no candidate is a clear pick, a cardinal who spoke anonymously to CBS News today said all the prelates had agreed that the Catholic Church needs "a fresh start."