Cardinals prepare to elect pope for troubled Church
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 01:00
March 12 - Roman Catholic cardinals prepare to elect a pope who will face one of the most difficult periods in the Church's history. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Roman Catholic cardinals chanted and prayed for divine guidance in the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday as they prepared for a conclave to elect a pope who will face one of the most difficult periods in the Church's history.
The 115 red-hatted and red-caped cardinals gathered in the Pauline Chapel and walked in procession along the frescoed halls of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace into the Sistine, where they could remain closeted for several days of balloting.
Once inside the Sistine they took their places along the walls of the frescoed chapel and sang a hymn to the Holy Spirit, asking it to "visit our minds" during the election process.
They then read an oath in Latin, promising to abide by all the rules of the conclave, including not to reveal anything that goes on during the conclave.
The cardinals may well decide to cast a first ballot as early as Tuesday night after the doors of the chapel, one of the world's greatest art treasures, are closed and the cardinals are sequestered inside to conduct their secret discussions.
If they vote, the first outcome is likely to be inconclusive because there is no frontrunner to succeed Benedict, who became the first pope in centuries to step down, saying he was not strong enough at 85 to confront the woes of a Church whose 1.2 billion members look to Rome for leadership.
Smoke - white for a new pontiff, black after an inconclusive vote - would emerge from the chimney on the Sistine's roof if a ballot were held.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code