Conclave To Elect New Pope Begins March 12

VATICAN CITY (CBS) – The long-awaited conclave to elect the next pope will begin March 12, the Vatican announced Friday.

Read: What is the conclave?

The College of Cardinals made the decision during a vote Friday afternoon.

The conclave will begin with a Mass Tuesday morning, followed by the first secret voting in the Sistine Chapel in the afternoon.

Read: Who Is Cardinal Sean O’Malley?

115 cardinals are eligible to vote in the election, including Boston Archbishop Sean Cardinal O’Malley.

The Cardinals will take an oath to maintain secrecy and follow the apostolic constitution.  They must remain behind closed doors until a new pope is elected.

Photos: WBZ-TV in Rome

Each time the cardinals vote, they burn their ballots. Black smoke indicates they haven’t reached a majority yet.

If a new pope has been chosen, the smoke will be white.

  • Reporting From Rome: Americans Have Already Made History « CBS Boston

    […] Just wrapping up our first full day in Rome. And today the Cardinals made news. They voted to begin the conclave on Tuesday, March 12. Between now and then, the Cardinals will continue their meetings and getting […]

  • Cardinal Sean O’Malley Celebrates Mass In Rome Sunday Morning « CBS Boston

    […] Conclave starts Tuesday with the first vote scheduled for Tuesday […]

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