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The Conclave, a congregation of Cardinals who will elect the successor of Benedict XVI, will meet within a few days. The word Conclave stems from the Latin “with key” because the electors were locked up in a secluded venue to avoid outside influences on the election process. The Cardinals are still not allowed to have contact with the outside world, they are not allowed to have cell phones, access to internet, watch television, listen to radio or read newspapers while the Conclave is in session. The venue is at the Sistine Chapel and the Cardinals are lodged within the Vatican and may not leave during the process. The first Conclave took place in 1241 and the rules have changed but utmost ‘privacy’ has always been a prime feature. Cardinals over 80 are not allowed to participate, so there are 119 Cardinals who qualify as electors and about 114 are expected to attend. A two-thirds vote is required to elect a pope and election rounds are repeated as long as this result has not been achieved. The ballots are secret and the ballot slips are burned after each ballot. Black smoke from a provisional chimney signals no decision and white smoke conveys the message that a new pope has been elected. The smoke is the first message to onlookers at St. Peter’s Square, followed by the ringing of the bells of St. Peter’s Cathedral as a Cardinal appears on the balcony to announce: “Habemus papam” – “We have a pope”. We pray for God’s blessing on the Conclave and our new pope.