Finally! Cardinals ready to set papal conclave date
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Uploaded by on Mar 8, 2013
VATICAN CITY -- A date for the start of the papal conclave to elect the next pope will be chosen Friday, the Vatican announced. Cardinals gathered in Rome will meet at 5 pm local time (11 am ET) to vote on the date for the start of the secret ballot process, spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters. Greg Burke, a Vatican senior communications adviser, said that the date was expected to be decided by Friday night. The cardinals are going about their work, he said. They are taking their time ... but we do expect by tonight we will get that date. It is thought the chosen date could be made public after the meeting, at about 7 pm local time (2 pm ET). All of the 115 cardinals taking part in the conclave -- in which a series of closed ballots is held in the Sistine Chapel until a successor for Pope Benedict XVI is chosen -- are now gathered in Rome, Lombardi said. He added that it was likely the conclave would begin next week. On Thursday, reporters were shown images of preparation work being carried out at the Vatican, including the installation of the chimney stack through which white smoke will flow once a pope has been elected.