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Cardinals begin conclave to select new pope

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013 - 01:22

Mar. 12 - Speculation continues around the Vatican about who will be the next pope as Roman Catholic cardinals gather for the conclave to elect a new pontiff. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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Roman Catholic cardinals gather for a mass in St. Peter's Basilica ahead of the Vatican conclave, a secret ballot that will elect the next pope. In a process dating back to medieval times, 115 eligible cardinals from 48 countries will shut themselves in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, tasked with choosing the Church's next leader. Catholic faithful from around the world have travelled to Rome to be present when the new pope is presented. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN PRIEST, JAMES PLAGENS, SAYING: "I see this as an example of how the Church continues to reinvent itself, to continue to bring itself forward to renew itself. It is a wonderful example of our belief that the Holy Spirit of God is with the Church." The secret conclave, steeped in ritual and prayer, could carry on for several days, with no clear favourite in sight. The Cardinals will vote four times a day until two-thirds can agree on a candidate. The cardinals will emerge from their seclusion only when they have chosen the man who will lead the 1.2 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church, beset by sex abuse scandals, bureaucratic infighting, financial difficulties and a decline in popularity.

Cardinals begin conclave to select new pope

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013 - 01:22

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