Monday, April 18, 2005
Conclave Begins at 4:30 p.m. CET
As I write, the College of Cardinals is gathered in St. Peter's Basilica to concelebrate the pre-conclave "Pro eligendo Pontifice" Holy Mass, which started at 10 a.m. CET, and to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit during the voting process. Today at 4:30 p.m. CET (10:30 a.m. EDT), the conclave to elect the 264th Successor of St. Peter will commence. When the last cardinal swears his oath, the papal master of ceremonies Archbishop Piero Marini will announce, "Extra omnes" (Latin for "everyone out"). Then the 115 cardinal electors gathered in the Vatican City will be locked in the Sistine Chapel to begin the process of ushering in a new Papacy.