title: 'Conclave elections pope catholic Vatican' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    Black smoke issued from the chimney stack of the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday evening, indicating that the 115 Roman Catholic cardinals gathered there for the highly ceremonial and secretive process of electing a new pope, have come to no decision yet. As the conclave only began Tuesday afternoon, this was not unexpected. Photo gallery: papal conclave at Vatican All contact of the cardinals and their entourage with the outside world has been cut off until the decision so momentous to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics has been taken. The conclave began amid security that had been further tightened since a man disguised as a bishop slipped in amongst the cardinals last week. During the conclave, the cardinals will live in the Santa Martha hotel inside the Vatican, and carry out their daily voting within the Sistine Chapel. Front-runners Though there are no clear front-runners, the main standoff is expected to take place between Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola and Brazil's Odilo Scherer, the Ansa news agency says. A stronger than average bid may also come from US Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Canada’s Mark Quellet. Other names being seriously mooted are Cardinal Scola of Milan, who is also Benedict XVI’s appointee, Brazil’s Odilo Scherer and New York’s Timothy Dolan. Immediate tasks The new pontiff will need to tackle the issue of re-building faith in a Church whose reputation has been tarnished by financial and sex scandals, some dating back decades. He will face the task of boosting the numbers of priests and common Catholics, church marriages and saving the Church’s prestige in the aftermath of sex abuse and banking scandals. Voting procedure White smoke issuing from the chimney stack of the Sistine Chapel means a pope has been elected and black smoke means the vote is inconclusive. From Wednesday onwards, the cardinals will vote as many as four times a day, twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon, until they have elected a new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. If no one has been elected by Friday, the cardinals will hold a day of prayer and reflection on Saturday before resuming the voting. This council of cardinals is called “conclave”, from the Latin words 'cum clave – 'locked with a key', because it takes place in a closed room. Analysis In an interview with the Voice of Russia, Russian expert in religious affairs Alexey Yudin said: “Historic experience has shown that for the papal elections to be successful, the cardinals should be totally separated from the outer world. They shouldn’t be preoccupied with earthly things. “As a rule, it takes from two to four days for the conclave to elect a new pope. “Benedict XVI was elected in two days. However, that time, it was clear from the very beginning that he was the candidate with the best chance. The current situation is different. It is practically impossible to say which candidate has the edge.” Sistine Chapel This is already the 25th time that a conclave which elects a pope has gathered in the ornate Sistine Chapel, which is famous for its frescos by great artists of the Renaissance epoch. However, the official status of the Chapel for such gatherings was acquired only in 1996 by a decree of Pope John Paul II. Several days before the conclave, the room where it is now taking place was renovated. The windows were changed; a new wood floor was laid; a carpet, tables and chairs were brought in; and two new fireplaces were built. Ceremonies to be observed Alexey Yudin says: “One of these fireplaces is for burning the voting bulletins. The second is meant exclusively for letting out a white smoke when the new pope is elected, to let people outside the room know about it. “The newly elected pope will have to say explicitly whether he agrees to occupy this post. Theoretically, he can refuse. In fact, there have not been any cases so far in the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church that an elected pope rejected this post. “After a new pope is elected, one of the cardinals should come out to the people and declare: “Habeam papam!”, which means “We have a pope” in Latin. Then, the pope’s enthroning takes place.” “Another tradition has it that after the enthroning, the new pope secludes himself in a so-called ‘chamber of lamentation’, where he weeps over the hard burden that he has just accepted. “Then, in the same room, he puts on the papal robes. At present, three sets of papal vestments of various sizes are already waiting in the lamentation chamber so that the new pontiff can choose the one which best fits.”

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