Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

The day of the conclave arrives

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, March 12 - Cardinals will gather in
the Sistine Chapel later on Tuesday, when the conclave to elect
the new pope begins.
Early on Tuesday cardinals attended the pre-conclave 'pro
eligendo' mass in St Peter's Basilica.
That mass was open to all of the Catholic Church's
cardinals, most of whom have been in Rome for over a week for
the "general congregations" to prepare for the election of
Benedict XVI's successor.
At around 16:30 Italian time the 115 of them who are
eligible to vote as they are under 80 will enter the chapel that
hosts Michelangelo's famous frescoed ceiling and his depiction
of the Last Judgment and the conclave will begin.
During the conclave the cardinal electors are sworn to
total secrecy and they will be shut off from all contact with
the outside world, spending their time between the Sistine
Chapel and Vatican's Santa Martha hotel.
The cardinals are expected to hold their first vote late on
Tuesday afternoon.
This is likely to be inconclusive and Vatican spokesman
Father Federico Lombardy said the cardinals may not hold a vote
at all on Tuesday.
They hold four ballots a day from Wednesday.
To be elected pope, a cardinal needs a two-thirds majority
in the conclave - or 77 votes.
Black smoke from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine
Chapel indicates a vote has been inconclusive, while white smoke
and the ringing of St. Peter's bells will announce a new pope
has been elected.
Benedict, 85, stepped down at the end of last month after
announcing that he no longer had the mental and physical
strength to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

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