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Entries in Conclave (13)

Wednesday
Mar132013

Black Smoke Emerges from Sistine Chapel After Second Papal Vote

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Black smoke emerging from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel Wednesday morning indicated that the 115 cardinal electors of the Roman Catholic Church failed to elect a pope in their second vote.

The cardinals started the conclave on Tuesday afternoon, but black smoke emerged from the chapel's chimney a few hours afterwards, signaling that no candidate had received the two-thirds majority -- 77 votes -- needed for election.

With such a wide open conclave, the failure to pick the next pontiff on the first day did not come as a surprise.

"As the votes go on, a certain clarity usually arrives," Fr. John Wauck, a U.S. priest living in Rome, told ABC News.  "No one said electing a pope was going to be easy."

However, a key cardinal from the United States voiced optimism that a decision would be made soon.  Before the conclave began, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a letter to his priests in New York that he believed a successor to the retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would be picked by Thursday evening.

Dolan himself is viewed as a potential candidate to become the next pope, as is fellow American Cardinal Sean O'Malley from Boston.  But there has never been an American pope or any pope from outside of Europe.  Other candidates viewed as potential frontrunners are cardinals Angelo Scola of Italy, Marc Ouellet of Canada, Peter Erdo of Hungary and Odilo Scherer of Brazil.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar132013

Italian Cardinal Could Have the Inside Track in Pope Sweepstakes

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Is there a favorite to become the next pope?

The Washington Post lists Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola as the leading candidate based on his popularity with conservative theologians and the fact that the 71-year-old came very close to succeeding Pope John Paul II in 2005.

As it happened, the cardinal from Venice lost to Joseph Ratzinger, who became Benedict XVI, perhaps because he was too young -- that is, in his mid-60s.

However, Scola, a strict adherent to Roman Catholic doctrine but someone who is also media savvy, doesn't seem to have that problem now.  If chosen, he would resume the long line of pontiffs from Italy going back centuries that was broken by John Paul II in 1978.

Familiar in the way of Italian politics, it’s also reported that Scola has a particular empathy for the poor and disenfranchised and is regarded as something of a reformist who has called African, Asian and Latin American churches “beacons of hope” while also encouraging inter-faith dialogue with Islam.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar122013

Chance of American Pope Are Slim to None

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- The College of Cardinals begins it conclave on Tuesday at the Vatican to select the next pope and there's been no shortage of rumors as to who might be selected as the new leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.

Some of the buzz is that an American cardinal might be in the running for pontiff but as Monsignor Christopher Nalty explains, "There's probably 20 or 25 of those cardinals who we can see walking out on that piazza, walk out on that loggia in a couple of days and whichever one is, will be our pope."

A former official of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, Nalty says people shouldn't read too much into New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan's frequent appearances on TV.

According to Nalty, "The Americans have let their personalities shine and I think that's getting people to talk about them.  Whether that's getting the other cardinals to talk about them is another thing."

The monsignor, in fact, would be stunned if Dolan or another American becomes the successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned on Feb. 28, adding, "My jaw would drop so much I'd need reconstructive surgery after it hit the cobble stones on the piazza."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar122013

Vatican Begins Papal Conclave with Mass, First Vote

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- A new pope could be elected Tuesday as the 115 Roman Catholic cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel for the conclave that will select the next pontiff.

The first vote is set to take place Tuesday evening in Rome (afternoon ET), although it is unlikely that on the first ballot any candidate earns the two-thirds majority needed for election.  If no pope is elected on Tuesday evening's vote, the 115 cardinal electors will resume the conclave on Wednesday.

On Tuesday morning, the cardinals celebrated a mass in a packed St. Peter's Basilica with a homily from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the college of cardinals.

"We implore the Lord that through the pastoral solicitude of the cardinal fathers, He may soon grant another good shepherd to his holy church," Sodano said.

When Sodano praised the retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a "beloved and venerable" pontiff, cardinals responded with a lengthy applause.

In recent days, cardinals have expressed optimism that the conclave will be a quick one and a new leader of the church's 1.2 billion followers will be swiftly selected.  The start of Holy Week on March 24 gives the conclave an added sense of urgency.

"In a few days we will have a new holy father," Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria said on Sunday.

When the cardinal electors -- only cardinals under 80 can vote -- enter the conclave, they will be shut off from the outside world: no television, Internet or newspapers.  Electronic jamming devices have been installed in the chapel.

The cardinal electors Tuesday morning moved into Santa Marta, the house where they will reside during the conclave.  Later in the day, they will gather in the Pauline Chapel before proceeding into the Sistine Chapel, where the doors will then be locked.

After each session of voting, the ballots are burned and smoke is emitted from the chapel's chimney, with black smoke signaling that no candidate has been elected in the preceding rounds of votes and white smoke indicating a new pope has been picked.

The first smoke can be seen between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar112013

Cardinals Prepare to Pick a New Pope

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) -- What would God do?  That’s the question many Roman Catholic Cardinals meeting in Rome are asking themselves as they prepare to select the next Pope.

The Sistine Chapel at the Vatican is now closed to the public as the College of Cardinals prepares to gather in the sanctuary on Tuesday to pick the next pontiff.

The 115 cardinals themselves are sworn to secrecy, but retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, says it's a very emotional and solemn ritual.

“You're voting for the man you think God would want," McCarrick says.

The cardinal adds, “It's a very emotional time and a very, very deep moment when you try to read the mind of God.”

When white smoke does billow out of the Sistine Chapel's chimney, the centuries-old signal that a new pope has been chosen, thousands of people will get a text message and an email.

It's not a service from the Holy See, but rather Pope Alarm, a new website that promises “when the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down.”

Once the new pope is introduced to the world on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, thousands more will then check their Fantasy Conclave picks to see how they fared.

"I love the fact contemporary media is giving people access to new ways to the conclave," says Matthew Bunson, general editor of the Catholic Almanac.  “It demonstrates that there is intense interest all over the world.”

When the cardinal electors enter the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, they'll have the prayers and support of people who have registered to “adopt a cardinal.”

After someone enters their email address on the Adopt a Cardinal website, they're assigned one of the 115 cardinal electors to keep in their prayers.  The cardinals know about the site, and they seem to approve.

“To all participating in 'Adopt a Cardinal' project: 'Thank you very much for 'adopting' us. Your prayers are helping us discern God's will,” Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, tweeted.

Once the conclave begins, the cardinals will live detached from the outside world until a new pope is chosen.

Cellphone-jamming devices are installed in the Sistine Chapel in order to ensure the utmost secrecy, and for the approximately nine cardinals who are active on Twitter, that means taking a social media vacation.

The cardinal electors will vote four times per day -- twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon -- until they reach a two-thirds majority.

If the next pope were chosen by an online popularity contest, three social-media-savvy cardinals would have to duke it out for the top spot.

The Twitter and Facebook accounts of Cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York, Luis Tagle of Manila and Gianfranco Ravasi of Italy have accounted for more than 85 percent of cardinals' social media use, according to Decisyon, an Italian start-up specializing in social media analysis.

While Bunson called being social media-savvy “a plus” for the contenders, he said it's essential the new pope embraces Twitter, as Benedict XVI did, and other forms of digital media.

“Certainly popes have embraced the use of radio, film, and television and then the Internet,” he said.  “Social media is the next area of communication that has to be used and understood if the church is going to evangelize and get the gospel out there.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar092013

Vatican Installs Chimney on Sistine Chapel Roof in Preparation for Conclave

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Vatican workers placed the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel on Saturday morning. When the conclave starts on Tuesday, all eyes will be on this chimney, waiting to see if black or white smoke is coming out the top.

The chimney is an ancient tradition, the first conclave in the Sistine Chapel having been held in 1492. Cardinals burn their ballots after each inconclusive vote in a small stove connected to the chimney, and the color of the smoke signifies the outcome of each round of voting.

This famously low-tech tradition is being joined this year by the installation of a faraday cage, a wire mesh that protects against lightning strikes and prevents wireless signals from getting in or out of the conclave. This makes sure that that chimney is the only way the world will know if there is a new pope, the same way it has for centuries.

There is no definite front-runner at this point, so it could be a while after the conclave starts before we see any white smoke billowing out the top of the chimney.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar082013

Vatican Says Conclave Will Start Tuesday

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(ROME) -- The Vatican has announced that the conclave to elect the next pope will begin on Tuesday.

Catholic Cardinals from across the globe now gathered at the Vatican were waiting for the arrival of Vietnam's cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham, who arrived on Thursday, before a date could be set for the election.

When all 115 of the voting cardinals were finally together, they began to gather for the meetings known as general congregations.  During these meetings they discuss the problems facing the church, while geting to know each other.

On Thursday, U.S. Cardinal Roger Mahony caused a wave of anticipation when he tweeted that the discussions were "reaching a conclusion."

"Days of General Congregations reaching a conclusion. Setting of date for Conclave nearing. Mood of excitement prevails among Cardinals," he tweeted.

The setting of the date functions as a deadline for pre-conclave discussions.

Once the conclave begins, the cardinals will vote four times a day -- twice in the morning, and twice in the afternoon.  All of these votes are made during silent prayer within the Sistine Chapel.

Many of the over one billion Catholics across the world are waiting to see who will be selected as the next pontiff.  One hint even arrived on Friday that the next pope could be an American.

An article in an Italian magazine by a respected religion writer says that Cardinal Dolan, the current Archbishop of New York, is being strongly considered as a viable candidate to be the next pope.

The article states that he is considered a great communicator, which is an essential quality in the very public role that the pope will play.

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston is also mentioned in the same article as a viable candidate.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar062013

Papal Porta-Potties in the Sistine Chapel?

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Among the more intriguing traditions of a papal election is the little stove installed in the Sistine Chapel to burn the ballots and send out the smoke signals about the results.

But one mystery never really discussed is how 115 voting cardinals locked in a room deal with, ahem, waste of a more mundane nature.

Papal porta-potties, it turns out.

“They are installing chemical toilets inside the Sistine Chapel,” Antonio Paulucci, the director of the Vatican Museums told Italy’s Il Messagero newspaper Wednesday.

There are public bathrooms nearby -- just one floor down -- but the cardinals won’t be able to venture out of the chapel to use them.

The Sistine Chapel is under undergoing a transformation before the vote.

The Raphael Rooms will remain open, but the Borgia Apartments will be closed as will Pope Paul VI’s collection of contemporary church art.

The museum has also closed the doors of the Sistine Chapel to all tourists.

The Sistine Chapel is the museum’s biggest attraction, with 5 million visitors a year. Now even pre-paid private tour groups are cancelled or postponed until after the new pope emerges.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar062013

Vatican Preps Sistine Chapel for Conclave; No Date Set

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- As the Vatican prepares the Sistine Chapel for the start of the conclave, the cardinals gathering to discuss the papal election appear to be taking their time.

“It is unlikely we will set a date today,” the Rev. Thomas Rosica told reporters.  “For one thing, the chapel is not yet ready.”

Workers have started installing floorboards to protect the chapel’s marble floors as well as the stove to burn the ballots and communicate the election results.

The Vatican spokesman noted that jamming devices are now being installed in the chapel, but not under the floorboards as previously reported.  

“They won’t work if you put them there,” Rosica said.  Instead he described the jamming device “more like a shield on an airplane” installed high up on the walls.

They are also still waiting for a few tardy cardinals.  As of Wednesday afternoon, voting cardinals from Vietnam and Warsaw, Poland, had yet to arrive in Rome.  But 113 of the 115 cardinals expected to participate in the conclave were there and sworn to secrecy.

On Wednesday, cardinals participating in closed-door deliberations ahead of the conclave adopted a 5-minute rule to limit the length of speeches.  So far, 51 of them from five continents have addressed the group.

At least one participant reportedly expressed his frustration with some of the speeches.

"No matter how brilliant you may think your speech is, do we really need it?" Nigerian Cardinal John Oneiyekan told the National Catholic Reporter.

The cardinals will be giving no more interviews or press conferences from now on.  According to the Vatican press office, they have collectively decided that it is in the best interests of the process to adhere to a gag order.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar042013

Cardinals Prepare to Elect a New Pope

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Roman Catholic cardinals are scheduled to meet Monday in Rome to begin the process of selecting the next pontiff in the wake of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The meeting will not be the official conclave, but simply a gathering to discuss preparations for the election of the next pope.  The preparations include the installation of a stove in the Sistine Chapel where the cardinals will hold the conclave behind locked doors.  The stove will be used to burn the ballots, with the smoke communicating the election results.

Most Vatican observers say the new pontiff will more than likely be a European because half of the electors involved in the process are from Europe.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







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