Papal conclave begins Tuesday

6:25 AM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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VATICAN CITY (KSDK) -- The conclave begins Tuesday to select the next Pope.

The cardinals met at St. Peter's Basilica for morning mass and prayer ahead of the votes.

U.S. cardinals, including St. Louis native Timothy Dolan, is taking part in the conclave.  They left their residence in Rome Tuesday to applause and cheers from well wishers.

The cardinals headed for Santa Martha Hotel inside the Vatican, then to a morning's mass at St. Peter's Basilica.  After the mass, they'll walk across St. Peter's Square with the rest of the cardinals to the Sistine Chapel to start the conclave.

The conclave will begin with 115 cardinals taking a sworn oath of secrecy.  There will be one vote this afternoon.  To become pope, a candidate needs two-thirds majority, which is 77 ballots.

Sixty of the voters are from Europe, 19 from Latin America, 14 from North America and 11 from Africa.

If the vote fails to produce a chosen candidate, the ballots are burned in a stove and a second stove produces smoke.  Black smoke indicates no pope was selected.  The voting will continue with another round of ballots until white smoke indicates a pope was chosen.

More than 5,000 media members are on hand from around the world and 1.2 billion Catholics are watching very closely.

Visit the 'Electing the Pope' section on KSDK.COM for additional coverage.


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