VATICAN CITY (CBSNewYork) — The Sistine Chapel was closed Tuesday as the Vatican prepared to elect a new pope.
But not all the cardinals who will vote have arrived in Rome, CBS News’ Danielle Nottingham reported.
Photos: Cardinals At The Vatican
It seems the cardinals are in no hurry to start the conclave to replace Benedict XVI.
“There is no desire to hasten this process. It is following its normal course,” Vatican Press Secretary Father Tom Rosica said.
More than 100 cardinals from around the world are holding Vatican meetings to focus on the future needs of the Church. They said the daily gatherings may actually shorten the conclave because the discussions will give cardinals a better idea who they will chose when the voting starts. For a new pope to be elected, he will need a two-thirds majority or 77 of 115 votes.
“It takes as long as it takes!” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston, Texas.
During Tuesday’s discussions the cardinals asked for information about allegations of corruption and power struggles inside the Vatican.
“I feel confident the cardinals will share with us all the information that is germane and important for us to know as we make this important decision,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston.
New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan is providing daily reports for the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM.
“It was an extraordinarily inspirational and reaffirming venture,” Dolan said. “There’s a sense of resolution, there’s a sense of we’re on our way now to fill the chair of Peter.'”
The cardinals will chose the next pope from inside the Sistine Chapel, which is now closed to the public. Crews will move in desks. They will also install two stoves — one to burn the secret ballots and the other to produce smoke when a vote takes place.
Some American students were hoping to see the famous work of Michelangelo, but understood why the chapel was closed.
“It is a great reason. It is disappointing not to see it, but it is a great reason,” David Sheehy said.
Most Catholics believe the cardinals will pick the right man. In new CBS News poll of American Catholics, 74 percent have at least some confidence the cardinals will elect a pope who is touch with their needs.
Another 54 percent of also rated the way things are going in the Church as at least “good.”
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