Crowds descend to await the announcement of a new Pope.
The Cardinals headed into the Sistine Chapel this morning to elect a pontiff (most likely from their ranks, though apparently that's not a requirement). Meanwhile, Catholics gathered outside to await news of a new Pope. And in case you can't get to Rome --
Pope Alarm will text you when that white smoke goes up. Cardinals attend a mass in St. Peter's Basilica, in a picture released by Osservatore Romano at the Vatican March 12, 2013. All cardinals, including those over 80 who will not vote in the conclave, celebrate Mass in St Peter's Basilica to pray for the election of the new pope. The Mass is called "Pro Eligendo Romano Pontefice" ("For the Election of the Roman Pontiff") and is open to the public. (Reuters) People in Saint Peter's Square watch a live television screen showing cardinals entering the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave in order to elect a successor to Pope Benedict, at the Vatican. (Reuters) People in Saint Peter's Square watch a live television screen showing cardinals entering the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave in order to elect a successor to Pope Benedict. Red-robed cardinals retreated behind the heavy wooden doors of the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday at the start of a conclave that will elect a new pope to tackle the strife and scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church. (Reuters)
A man dressed as a monk kneels in Saint Peter's Square. (Reuters)