By Balitang America Staff

March 11, 2013

Vatican press officer Father Tom Rosica says that the frontrunners to be the new pope are “scared” of the daunting mission of being the leader of a world religion, reported

The Sistine Chapel is ready. The new pope’s clothes are laid out. Now it’s up to the cardinals.

On Tuesday, a pre-conclave mass will be open to the public, before the 115 cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel for the official start of the conclave.

Rosica says the cardinals could vote Tuesday night.

“Don’t expect anything before eight o’clock. It’s unlikely that there will be white smoke on the first ballot. However, be aware that around eight o’clock we’ll probably see the first signs of smoke coming from the chimney,” said Rosica.


Smoke will emerge from the chimney once at the end of the morning session — about 12 p.m. (7 a.m. EDT)— and again at the end of the afternoon session — about 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT). But if an earlier vote yields a pope, white smoke would emerge at that time, ending the conclave.

Once white smoke emerges from the chimney, a bell at the St. Peter’s Basilica rings. Within an hour, the man who was selected emerges onto the balcony and his identity is known.

Tailors have also completed sets of clothes for the new pope to wear, as soon as he is elected.
The longest conclave in the 20th century lasted five days.

-With reports from the Associated Press, CNN, and

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