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Speculation stirs around upcoming conclave

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 01:18

Mar 11- Experts predict conclave will elect pope within days, unless the cardinals are unable to come to a consensus as the Roman Catholic Church continues to be plagued by scandal. Jessica Gray reports.

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In 24 hours, Roman Catholic Cardinals will gather in the Sistine Chapel to start electing a new pope. Speculation is running rife in Rome about the length and likely outcome of the secret Vatican meeting known as the conclave. Analyst Kim Daniels, director of Catholic Voices, says at least one thing is sure: it won't take years for the modernised catholic church to elect a new leader. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF CATHOLIC VOICES USA KIM DANIELS SAYING: "Hundreds of years ago what happened is one pope took almost three years to be elected and because of that they threatened to lock the cardinals in a room and only feed them bread and water. That doesn't happen anymore. Right now what's happening is probably in the modern era three days is about the limit, so we are looking for something to happen this week." The process is still cumbersome though. There could be as many as four votes everyday until one of the 115 cardinals receives a two-thirds majority or 77 votes in his favour. Some vatican watchers believe the new pope is likely to come from the developing world, which would be a first. Failure to elect a pope in less than three days could mean cardinals are divided in which case they may go for a surprise candidate to achieve consensus. No conclave has lasted than more than five days in the past century.

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Speculation stirs around upcoming conclave

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 01:18