Feb 28, 2013 7:18 PM by Chris Welty

Pope's Election Process is Detailed & Strict

With the Pope officially retired, thousands around the world are watching and waiting for the papal conclave to begin.

"It's quite exciting in anticipation of what on earth and what in heaven is going to happen."

News of the Pope's retirement has surprised Catholics, but Monsignor Richard Greene says the church is moving on.

"Our hope is the Lord will see the best possible person is elected for the church in these times."

The Pope's election is very detailed and strict. 120 Cardinals, the highest ranking members under the Pope, will enter into the conclave or a private meeting.

"They enter the Sistine Chapel in Rome and it's very confidential. They don't go home until they've elected a Pope," said Greene.

The ballots are hand written and secret.

"After they ballot, if no Pope is elected, those ballots are burned and we get the famous black smoke. If it's white, a Pope has been elected."

Monsignor Greene believes the Pope's election will be quick this time around because the Cardinals are more knowledgeable about who they want to vote for. He believes the internet and social media play a big role.

"It's a very critical time in the church. Many challenges in the world and for justice and peace."

Monsignor Greene says not only is it an exciting time for the church, but for the thousands waiting in Rome.
He was there for the election of Pope Paul the Sixth.

"I was in Rome as a student when John the 23rd died and then Paul the Sixth was elected. I can remember being in St. Peter's Piazza and seeing the white smoke."

Chris Welty



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