March 12th, 2013
02:47 PM ET

No new pope on conclave's first day

[Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET] In a not-so-surprising result, there will be no new pope tonight.

Black smoke has risen from a chimney over the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, indicating that no one collected enough votes Tuesday to be elected the successor to the retired Pope Benedict XVI. The Roman Catholic Church's cardinals held their first vote in the chapel today.

The cardinals will vote again tomorrow.

[Updated at 12:46 p.m. ET] The process of selecting a new pope of the Roman Catholic church has begun.

The 115 cardinal-electors have gathered in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, and the doors to the chapel have closed, marking the beginning of today's election session.

This session is scheduled to last two hours, assuming no pope is chosen before then. The cardinals would then go at it again tomorrow.

[Updated at 7:43 a.m. ET] The wait is nearly over: It's time for the cardinals to get down to the business of choosing a pope.

The Catholic Church's cardinals are set to begin their secret election, or conclave, in Vatican City on Tuesday. The process to choose a successor to the retired Benedict XVI could take days.

We have a number of features to inform you about the process. Our full story on Tuesday's activities can be found here. But also check out:

How a pope is chosen

The contenders

Video: Papal conclave 101

Cover-up claims disturb conclave

February 23rd, 2013
11:33 AM ET

Vatican denies rumors as pope prepares to step down

The Vatican sought Saturday to tamp down rumors involving sex, money and gay priests that have been swirling in the Italian media and have been linked by some to Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign.

The strongly-worded denial came on the eve of the pope's last Angelus blessing, expected to draw huge crowds of the faithful, before he stands down on Thursday.

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said it was "deplorable" that as the time for the Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope approaches, a rash of "often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" has appeared.

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Filed under: The Vatican
October 25th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Man who leaked pope's papers heads to jail

If Paolo Gabriele ever does get the pope's pardon, it won't be before he serves some jail time.

Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will start his 18-month sentence in a Vatican cell Thursday for taking secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an author who included them in a best-selling book, the Vatican said.


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Filed under: Catholic Church • Christian • Italy • Religion • The Vatican