Vatican outlines timetable for conclave to elect pope

Agence France-Presse
If there is an election in a first round of voting, the ballots are burnt immediately to produce the famous white smoke, which could happen at 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. on March 12

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Saturday, March 9, outlined the timetable for a conclave in the Sistine Chapel starting next week for a new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics after Benedict XVI’s resignation.

Here are the precise times in Rome for the papal election beginning on Tuesday, March 12:

From 6 a.m. Tuesday — The 115 “cardinal electors” move into the St Martha’s House residence inside the Vatican walls where they will eat and sleep cut off from the outside world for the duration of the conclave.

9:00 a.m. — Cardinals take part in a special “Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice” (“For the Election of the Roman Pontiff”) mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

1:45 p.m. — Cardinals either walk or take a minibus in strict isolation through the Vatican gardens from St Martha’s House to the Apostolic Palace.

2:30 p.m. — Cardinals hold a procession through the Apostolic Palace from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel as they chant the Litany of Saints.

2:45 p.m. — Cardinals swear not to reveal details of their deliberations on pain of excommunication. Any staff are ordered to leave the chapel with the Latin phrase “Extra Omnes” and a prayer is read before a first vote is taken.

6:15 p.m. — Cardinals recite vespers to conclude their first session.

6:30 p.m. — Cardinals return to St Martha’s House.

7 p.m. — Cardinals have their first conclave dinner.

SUCCESSIVE DAYS OF CONCLAVE WILL TAKE PLACE AS FOLLOWS:

5:30 a.m. –  6:30 a.m. — Breakfast at St Martha’s

6:45 a.m. — Departure for Apostolic Palace

7:15 a.m. — Mass in the Pauline Chapel

8:30 a.m. — Prayers and voting in Sistine Chapel

11:30 a.m. — Departure for St Martha’s

12 noon — Lunch

3:00 p.m. — Departure for Sistine Chapel

3:50 p.m. — Prayers and voting in Sistine Chapel

6:15 p.m. — Vespers in the Sistine Chapel

6:30 p.m. — Departure for St Martha’s

7:00 p.m. — Dinner

SMOKE SIGNALS:

– Ballots will be usually burnt twice a day — following the two rounds of voting in the morning and two rounds of voting in the afternoon.

The puffs of black smoke indicating no election or white smoke indicating an election can be expected at around 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

– If there is an election in a first round of voting, however, the ballots are burnt immediately to produce the famous white smoke, which could happen at 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. for the morning and 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. for the afternoon. – Rappler.com

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