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What American Catholics Want From The Next Pontiff

As the conclave to select a new pope gets under way at the Vatican, what do American Catholics want from the next pontiff? Renee Montagne speaks with Greg Smith of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life about their most recent survey.

Papal Conclave Gets Under Way At The Vatican

The Mass before the conclave, the homily, the procession of cardinals into the Sistine Chapel, and the command "extra omnes" ("everyone out" — except the Cardinals). Steve Inskeep speaks with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli about the papal conclave.

No Clear Frontrunner For Next Pope On The Eve Of Cardinals' Conclave

There's a growing sense excitement and trepidation among visitors to St. Peter's Square on the eve of the conclave to elect a new pope. The 115 Catholic cardinals who will cast ballots break down into two groups: the so-called Roman party, members of the Vatican administration known as the curia, and the so-called reformers, cardinals from outside Rome. The cardinals have said there is no strong consensus around any one candidate so there will probably be several rounds of voting over several days. A cardinal must receive two-thirds of the vote to become pope.

A Rough Guide To The Papal Conclave

On Tuesday, 115 "cardinal electors" will be locked inside the Vatican to begin the secretive process of selecting the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. It's one of the more spectacular and intriguing theatrical dramas on the planet.

Cardinals Prepare For Conclave To Select New Pope

Cardinals in Rome have been meeting for the past week, discussing the future of the Catholic Church. That culminates with Tuesday's conclave, when the cardinals will meet in secret to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Renee Montagne speaks with Morning Edition regular contributor Cokie Roberts, who is in Rome covering the selection of the new pope.