Video: Understanding the Vatican conclave to select new pope

last-judgment-sistine chapel
Photo Credit: Sacred Destinations

The Vatican announced that Tuesday will start the conclave, the secret process of electing the 266th Bishop of Rome, the new pope.

CBS News reported 115 cardinals will sequester themselves from the world as they begin the conclave. Seventy-seven votes are needed to elect the new pope.

The vote will be held in the beautiful Sistine Chapel, where ovens and a chimney have been placed for the special process.

Most of us can’t fathom the politics and intrigue that will go on during the papal conclave, but we will be looking for the smoke from the chimney. Black smoke means there is no agreement on a pope, white smoke when a new pope has been chosen.

According to CBS:

There has been confusion in past conclaves over the color of the smoke that is actually rising over the Chapel, so during the last conclave in 2005, a new tradition began. Now, in addition to the white smoke, bells chime heralding the news that the Roman Catholic Church has a new leader.

The new pope will go immediately into a chamber adjoining the Chapel and be clad in his papal vesture, and will emerge moments later onto the balcony overlooking St. Peters Square to give his first blessing.

Read more about the papal conclave from CBS News here.

Watch the short CBS video describing the process of the papal conclave:


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