Buzz is building day before conclave
It`s the day before the start of the Conclave in Rome and the city is bustling with activity.
There are 5600 journalists accredited to the Vatican for the event, and police officers could be seen everywhere.
A group of young teens from Loyola High School are in Rome for the next few days and just happen to be here for the conclave.
Student Kevin Hogan describes the feeling.
"It`s pretty incredible. Something that most people never witness in their life, and to just happen to land on this, is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
16-year-old David D`Orazio talks about the possibility of the next pope being a Quebecer.
"I think it would be great to see the Church taking a step forward and trying to be one with society."
The anticipation about who will be the next pope is also mounting. Vatican spokesman Father Thomas Rosico, who is also a friend of Marc Cardinal Ouellett`s, says he is a very strong candidate.
"He has all that it takes. He has an understanding of the world and is very cultured. If anyone knows what are the needs of the Church, it`s Cardinal Ouellette," he tells Astral Radio news.
It`s anyone`s guess how long the conclave will last, but Rosica expects a new pope to be elected by the end of the week.
On Tuesday morning, Cardinals will celebrate mass at St-Peter`s Basilica. Entrance is free and open to everyone. It will be the last chance for people to see the Cardinals before they retreat to the Sistine Chapel for the secret vote.
They will enter the chapel at around 4:30 p.m. They will first take their oathes of secrecy then proceed to cast a first ballot. There will only be one vote on Tuesday. If no pope is elected, black smoke will rise from the Sistine Chapel likely around 8 p.m.
On Wednesday, there will be two votes in the morning, and two in the afternoon. It will go on this way for the first four days until a pope is elected. On the fifth day if there is still no chosen leader, the Cardinals will take a day for rest and prayer.
Photos courtesy Laura Casella (St. Peter's Square and Laura Casella standing with Swiss Guards)