By Mark Abrams
VATICAN CITY (CBS) — The smoke watch is just about to begin in Rome as the cardinals prepare to go behind closed doors of the Sistine chapel on Tuesday, to decided who among them will be the next leader of the world’s more than 1 billion roman Catholics.
On Sunday, the cardinals fanned out across Rome to hold Masses at their honorary churches.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, is a favorite and he’s been described as the coach among the American delegation.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
He says after a week of meetings, he’s starting to feel the call of the Holy Spirit.
“It’s starting, I really think it does. I hear my brother cardinals say this. A week ago, we would have said, Wow, we’ve got a lot of work to do but now you see a sense of resignation and trust and faith.”
There has been speculation that Dolan could emerge as a “dark horse” if there’s no consensus among the cardinals in the first few rounds of voting.
Dolan says he’s planning to go back to New York.
The names of Italians, a Brazilian, even a cardinal from the Philippines have been mentioned as possible popes, but it’s all speculation and we won’t really know until the white smoke comes form the chimney at the Sistine Chapel, the bells of St. Peter’s peel.