Papal Conclave Countdown: Cardinals Prepare to Choose New Pope

David Wright reports the latest news about the ancient ritual at the Vatican.
2:51 | 03/10/13

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Transcript for Papal Conclave Countdown: Cardinals Prepare to Choose New Pope
Gio, thank you for your reporting. Inside the vatican there are secret discussions going on, coalitions being formed and a lot of praying too as cardinals from all over the world get ready to lock themselves inside the sistine chapel for the ancient ritual known as the conclave. We could know the name of the new pope by this time next week. Could it be an american? David wright is once again in rome for us. David, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, dan. The pope surveillance obviously the worldwide leader of catholicism and cardinals who elect him come from 50 different countries but at least symbolically this is a local election. Among the other titles, the bishop of rome elected by the roman clergy. Rome has more churches than any other city. Enough so that every cardinal has a roman church assigned to him where he's technically the pastor. Today, the princes of the church fanned out becoming parish priests again ahead of the conclave. On tuesday, they'll shut the doors of the sistine chapel for the solemn process of choosing the next bishop of rome. I think it depends which cardinal you talk to. I think there's a mix. Reporter: Greg burke the vatican's senior media adviser says be prepared this may not be a short conclave. I don't think they're in any huge hurry. It's obviously a monumental decision they have to make. ♪ Reporter: Indeed there are reports of deep divisions in the ranks. The two factions supposedly are the roman party and the reform party. Reporter: On one side the roman political machine, eager to preserve their fifedoms and drafted a dominican cardinal. Shearer is close to the roman curia. Reporter: The reformers led by the americans who want a sheriff to clean up after the scandals possibly even one of them. South african cardinal will fred napier agrees it's time for the papacy to look far beyond europe and told us he'd like to see a pope from the developing world. Reporter: And the americans? Unfortunately, no one will be too keen to have an american pope because they say he might be dominated by the american government. Reporter: Napier spoke with this weekend despite the gag order on voting cardinals speaking with the press age told us he's going into the conclave with a couple of names in mind. He says the first ballot is really like a shotgun blast scattering a lot of names and after that, the factions begin to coalesce around second, third choices people who seem to be getting traction. Dan? So many questions about whether this will be a short or long conclave. David wright, you know you will be there covering it. Er will be anchoring abc news special conclave, the papal conclave clugz tchoosing the new pope.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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