The Papal Conclave to ellected the Successor of Saint Peter, Bishop of Rome, has begun following the resignation of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI
Today the Whole College of Cardinals and their entourages met at Saint Peters Basilica in the Vatican City to celebrate Mass prior to the Conclave. They then relocated (after lunch
) to The Pauline Chapel, before parading into The Sistine Chapel. They marched to the Litaniae Sanctorum...which is THE longest durge in the ENTIRE Universe...and is better known as the Invokation Of The Saints...The Choir list every single major Roman Catholic Saint, and pause after each name for the congregation to sing "Ora Pro Nobis" which means "Pray for me"
Then one by one, each of the Cardinals who were eligable and willing to vote had to utter the Sacramentum. This is an oath that makes them promise not to tell anyone outside the Sistine Chapel, anything that occures within the debates and the Casting of Votes.
Once that is complete the Master of Ceremonies issues the Extra Omnes, which basically clears the chapel of all the congregation and media, and all the Cardinals that can not vote because they are to old. The same Master follows the party out and locks the door behind them.
The Conclave will usually do four votes per day, two in the morning, and two in the afternoon. But as they had the Mass in the Morning and the Sacramentum which took over an hour to be sworne by each individual cardinal being that there are plus 100...Thankfully, the Sacramentum is only about three stanza long, or else it would take all day...they only had one chance to vote today.
The first vote of the conclave was a Failure. Black smoke came out of the tower. indicating that the ellection failed the majority needed to ellect a new Pope. They keep voting, four votes a day, for however long it takes to reach a majority on someone...once that majority occures, the Vatican will issue Habemus Papem, and a new pontificate shall begin.