14:57 12 March 2013
Voting will begin later on Tuesday 12th March to choose the next pope, with 115 cardinals gathering in Rome for the election. It seems there is no winner who stands out from the crowd as of time of press.
The day will see a mass being held in the morning before the conclave head to the Sistine Chapel later on Tuesday. This is where the cardinals will be closed away from the world in order to place their vote to elect the 266th pope.
The way in which a decision will be reached will mean that voting is carried out four times each day. This is until a majority vote of two-thirds is reached, which will then decide who will follow in Benedict XVI’s shoes to be pope.
“Last time around there was a man of stature, three or four times that of any other cardinal,” French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin told journalists, Reuters news agency has said.
“That is not the case this time around. Therefore, the choice has to be made among one, two, three, four... a dozen candidates.”
Adding: “We still don't really know anything. We will have to wait for the results of the first ballot.”
And the eagerly anticipated smoke, which rises from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel once a decision on who will be the next candidate is reached, will surely be at the forefront of many people’s mind early this week.
The smoke which comes from the ballots being burnt post vote will be black if a decision is still pending. The smoke will only be white when a new pope has been chosen.
The election comes following the resignation of Benedict XVI’s from his post on 28th February, 2013. This was the first time a pope resigned in around 600 years.
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