Conclave Opens to Elect Next Pope

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Conclave Opens to Elect Next Pope

Conclave Opens to Elect Next Pope

(Vatican City) – Cardinals moved into the Vatican City as the suspense mounted ahead of a secret papal election with no clear front-runner to steer the Catholic world through troubled waters after Benedict XVI’s historic resignation. The 115 cardinal electors who pick the next leader of 1.2 billion Catholics in a conclave in the Sistine Chapel will live inside the Vatican walls completely cut off from the outside world until they have made their choice.
In a series of centuries-old rituals, cardinals will be sworn in with a solemn oath that threatens anyone who reveals the deliberations of the conclave with instant excommunication. Dozens of Vatican staff working on the conclave, including cooks, drivers and security guards, swore the oath and jamming devices have been installed to prevent any bugging or communication in or out of the chapel.

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