Cardinals Enter Conclave To Begin Election Of Next Pope - FOX 35 News Orlando

Cardinals Enter Conclave To Begin Election Of Next Pope

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A puff of smoke will be the next news we get from the Vatican as cardinals decide on the next pope.

The 115 cardinals celebrated were deep in prayer together Tuesday during a two-hour final mass, the final one in public before sequestering in the Sistine Chapel to elect the next pope.

The holy men heard a final appeal for unity from the dean of the College of Cardinals during Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica.

In his homily, Cardinal Angelo Sodano said previous pontiffs worked tirelessly to promote peace and justice, a job church leaders will keep in mind during the voting process.

"Let us pray that the future pope may continue this unceasing work on the world level," Sodano said.

Earlier in the morning, the cardinals boarded buses to their sequestered living quarters in Vatican City, where they will stay during the conclave. Former Philadelphia Archbishop Justin Rigali was among those cardinals.

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was the first in 600 years for the church.

The move exposed deep divisions on whether the next pontiff needs to be a manager to clean up Vatican bureaucracy or a pastor to inspire Catholics at a time of waning faith. Either way the job is not expected to be an easy one.

Cardinals are not obligated to vote on the first day but it's likely they will. It takes a two-thirds majority plus one. That's 77 votes to elect the next pontiff.

The first and only vote of the day would happen by around 8:30 p.m. in Rome, or this afternoon our time.

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