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 .
A group of Latin language students from McCallum High School in Austin, Texas, flew into Philadelphia Saturday to make a connecting flight to Rome with their teacher and chaperones.
Cardinals begin the selection of a new pope inside the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday and great measures have been taken to ensure the privacy of the voting process.
We learned Friday that the Conclave to elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI begins on Tuesday, March 12th.
Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope.
Parishioners at St. Raymond of Penafort Church say a black Pope is the right choice for these times.
She says the cardinals need to stand up before going into the conclave and discipline their brothers for misconduct.
Father Frank Berna, director of graduate theology and ministry at LaSalle University, says the new pope has to take the pulse of the people, not just those who are loyal to the church, but those who have fallen away.
Vatican watchers and even some of the cardinals themselves say the two biggest issues facing the new pope are abuse and administration.
Pope Benedict XVI left Vatican City for the last time Thursday and became the became the first pope in about 600 years to retire.
“He was first of all a great teacher. He was a great preacher of the word of God. He was a great pastor of the people,” Rigali said.
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation says it’s nearly two years away, but the meeting will bring many visitors, and since the event is geared toward families, the city’s family-friendly events will benefit.
Some worshipers are confident the new Pope will have a large role in reversing the trend of the declining number of American Catholics and shrinking enrollment at Catholic schools.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, who stepped down as Philadelphia archbishop after a landmark indictment of priests in relation to child molestation, is one of the 11 U.S. cardinals expected to vote in the conclave.
The scheduling of the Conclave — the meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect a new Pope — is still in the works.