Vatican City

Conclave to elect pope to start Tuesday, March 12

New pontiff to emerge possibly by end of next week

Conclave to elect pope to start Tuesday, March 12

Vatican City, March 8 - The conclave of cardinals to elect a new pope will begin Tuesday, March 12, the Vatican announced Friday. The decision was made after the last of the 115 cardinal-electors arrived in Rome on Thursday. The conclave to elect the 266th pope follows the shocking resignation of Benedict XVI, who on February 28 became the first pontiff to abdicate in 600 years. On Tuesday morning, cardinals will celebrate a pre-conclave mass known as the pro eligendo Summo Pontefice asking God to enlighten them. That afternoon, they will enter the Sistine Chapel for the start of the conclave. Some analysts predict that a new pope may emerge by the end of the week.

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