March 8 - Cardinals from all over the world will gather for the conclave to elect Pope Benedict's successor next Tuesday. Deborah Gembara reports.
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At the vatican, where cardinals from all over the world are gathered, they've set a date - March 12 for the conclave to elect the next pope.
The cardinals have had a busy past few days --- debating behind closed doors about issues facing the church and just who they want to lead their 1.2 billion members.
Tuesday, after a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, they'll vote by secret ballot in the Sistene Chapel.
One hundred and fifteen cardinals, all younger then 80, will vote until one candidate receives at least 2/3rds of their support, roughly 77 percent.
If past is precedent, the next pope could be named as soon as 24 hours later like Pope Benedict. Or it could take a full three days like it did with his predecessor John Paul II.
Rules are a little looser these days then in earlier years where cardinals would be locked in until they reached a decision.
One thing is clear --- they fully expect to have a pope named in time for conclave members to return to their homes to lead Easter celebrations.
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