Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican insiders said there is an outside chance that the Archbishop of New York could be elected pope.
Inside the seventh grade religion class at Immaculate Conception School in Tuckahoe, the teacher took the students through the news accounts from Vatican City, where the cardinals failed on the first day of conclave to elect a new pope.
Officials at the Vatican promise that in this conclave there will be no ambiguity. When a new pope is elected, the smoke will be white and it will be accompanied by a chorus of bells ringing out across the Vatican and Rome itself.
On Tuesday afternoon, Cardinal Dolan and 114 other princes of the Church will enter the world-famous Sistine Chapel, which has been transformed into a papal polling place.
The cardinals will continue pre-conclave discussions on Saturday and Monday. They will take Sunday off to celebrate Mass at churches across Rome.
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.
New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan was among 103 of the 115 electors who arrived at the Vatican Monday morning, while the other dozen are en route.
Last week, Pope Benedict XVI stepped down, making him the first pope in 600 years to retire from the papacy. The Catholic church is temporarily without a leader.
The papal succession process will start on Monday. That’s when cardinals will gather in Rome for formal meetings to set a conclave date to elect the next pope.
The Swiss Guards standing at attention in Castel Gandolfo shut the gates of the palazzo shortly after 8 p.m. local time Thursday, symbolically closing the doors on a papacy whose legacy will be most marked by the way it ended.
Moments after Pope Benedict’s resignation took effect, the wheels of the church began to turn.
The shortest month of the year was jam-packed with news.
Many Catholics are split over whether they hope Pope Benedict’s successor should preserve tradition or make changes in Catholic teaching.
Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square and thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire.
On the same day Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional send-off from an estimated 150,000 people at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, there has been a lot of talk about his successor.
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