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The Conclave to Elect a New Pope Began at Close Door

By on March 12, 2013

The Conclave to Elect a New Pope Began at Close Door.

Under the direction of Giovanni Battista Re, the 115 cardinals participate in the ceremony. It is unlikely to be announced today the next Pope.

The second conclave of the third millennium began today after they closed the doors of the Sistine Chapel, where the 115 cardinal electors from 45 countries will elect Benedict’s successor.

The Vatican emcee, Guido Marini, delivered the “extra omnes” (“out there”), leaving the church urging those not directly involved in the papal election. Then, Marino himself closed the doors, leaving out the television cameras that had followed the ceremony.

The conclave begins with no clear favorite, as opposed to the election of eight years, in which the German Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Pope. Among the most likely candidates being elected, the Italian media Vaticanists mention the archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, and Sao Paulo, Odilo Scherer.

Responsible for directing the conclave this time is the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re. The Italian of 78 years, with extensive experience in the Roman curia, received the oath from the participants of the conclave, after they do their entry in the Sistine Chapel and sang the “Veni Creator Spiritus” (“Come, creator spirit”) to invoke the help of the Holy Spirit.

Re replaces Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, who does not participate in the election by having more than 80 years. Sodano held in the morning in St. Peter’s Mass (“to choose Pope”), in which it urged the cardinals to preserve the unity of the Church and prayed that some choose a pope continue working for peace and justice.

For the first day of the conclave, the Vatican rules establish a maximum of one round of voting, although this could not be held.

In any case, the Vatican considers it is unlikely that today there will be a new pope elected.

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