On Tuesday March 12 the day will start with a Mass Pro eligendo, before the cardinals locked in the conclave to elect a new pope. The Mass will be carry out by the Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano and will be held at 10:00, in St. Peter’s Basilica, which will be open to all the faithful.
Then in the afternoon (4:15), the cardinal electors will meet in the Pauline Chapel and from there, in a procession will go to the Sistine Chapel. At 4:30, the Cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel in procession and chanting litanies. Once settled, they will sing the Veni Creator Spiritus, hymn invoking the Holy Spirit,, and then make the oath of Cardinals.
When all the cardinal electors have taken the oath, the Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies will say Extra Omnes (all out) and everybody must leave the Sistine Chapel and close the doors. The Swiss Guard will protect thereafter the Chapel. From that time shall be the first ballot, the only one that occurs on the first day, or postpone it for the next day.
During the meeting, the participants are prohibited from any contact with the outside world and no unauthorized person can approach the cardinals or talk to them during the conclave.
Voting: pre election, election and post election
It held four ballots a day, two in the morning sessions and two in the afternoon. Before each of these sessions, the cardinal deacon will extract by lot, the names of three tellers, three nurses and three reviewers. Two ballot papers will be distributed to each voter with the phrase Eligo in Summum Pontificem (choose as Supreme Pontiff), and a blank space below to write the name of the chosen.
Each Cardinal must vote twice in his ballot paper and by order, should take it to the altar where the tellers has placed the urn.
Testor Christuum Dominum, qui me iudicaturus est, me eum eligere, quiam secundum Deum iudico eligi debere (I call as witness Christ the Lord, who will judge me, I give my vote to whom, in the presence of God, I think should be elected), is the oath that must pronounce each cardinal.
The three Cardinals tellers are responsible to count, before all the voters, the votes collected. If the number of votes does not square with the voters, the ballots are burned and the voting process is repeated. Then, supervisors should review the procedure.
After each session of scrutiny, ballots and the notes to the tellers are burned in a stove. If the result of the feedback has been negative, the papers are burned with wet straw, which produces black smoke.
If in the election a candidate is chosen, and he has accepted the responsibility, the papers are burned using dry straw, which results in a white smoke. It is the sign that announces to the world the election of a new pope.
In past times, the expulsion of gray smoke has led to confusion, so this time it will be used two stoves: one to burn the ballots and another one to show the world, beyond doubt, the color black or white smoke.
Acceptance of the new pope:
Once produced the canonical election, the last of the cardinal deacons will call to the Sistine Chapel, the secretary of the College of Cardinals, the Master of Ceremonies and two liturgical celebrations.
On behalf of all voters, the Cardinal Dean will ask the consensus choice with the following sentence: Acceptasne electionem de te canonice factam in Summum Pontificem? (Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?)
This time, given that the Dean Angelo Sodano, and the Dean, Roger Etchegaray, are octogenarians and non-voters, will be Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re who formulates that question.
If the elected candidate gives consent, then he will be asked: Quo nomine vis vocari (what name you want to be known?) The new pope then indicates the name he has chosen in these words: Vocabor N. (I’ll call N.) At that time, the chosen becomes bishop of Rome, pope and head of the College of Bishops.
The new pope is led by the chamberlain and the master of papal celebrations to the sacristy of the chapel known as the “Room of Tears”, because apparently all the elected have cried in that place ones they take the responsibility that comes with the office.
In the room, there are three manniquins dressed with white cassocks of different sizes, that the Roman tailor, Gammarelli, is responsible for doing since the eighteenth century. Furthermore, there is also a barber if the new elected need a shave before appearing to the people.
After the demonstration of respect for the Cardinals, Cardinal Protodeacon Jean Louis Tauran will appear on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and announce to the people the election of the new pontiff with these words:
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus papam: eminentissimun ac reverendissimum dominum, dominum… sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalem… qui sibi nomen imposuit… (And I declare to you a great joy, we have a pope: eminentissimun and most reverend lord, … Holy Roman Church Cardinal … He took the name of …).
After that the new Pope utter his first words to the faithful and impart the blessing Urbi et Orbi, to the city of Rome and throughout the world.