ABC News Digital Report: The Conclave Preparations Under Way

ABC News' David Wright explains preparations for the upcoming Conclave to elect a new Pope.
8:38 | 03/06/13

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Transcript for ABC News Digital Report: The Conclave Preparations Under Way
This is the special who -- from ABC news now. I'm Dan Cutler in New York he has spend one week since Pope Benedict the sixteenth resigned and became Pope emeritus and now cardinals for around the world. Are making their way to the Vatican to begin the process of choosing a new -- a process known as conclave. Today -- they are taking part in a prayer service at saint Peter's before continuing conclave preparations. Joining us now via Skype is ABC news correspondent David Wright who is act that prayer service David. -- -- Our about all the that you basically of the voting cardinals are here in town right now below that target cardinals. -- and Vietnam. It's worse is expected to Iraq sometime -- Vietnam sometime tomorrow and after that they can get down -- is setting a date this conflict the election takes place behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel. We're told by. The Vatican that -- the Sistine Chapel isn't ready yet anyway. Workers there have been busy installing. There's a little stove that'll be used to burn the ballots to preserve secrecy and also to communicate the results to the outside world. There also installing cell phone jamming devices. And possibly even more bodies -- the cardinals and during the conflict so preparations to continue their do we have any indication on when conclave could begins. To begin anytime it's up to the cardinals themselves and it's only up to the cardinals. It's not gonna. -- today obviously it's now past 5 PM here in Rome. The cardinals as you can see in this prayer service. Participating in. A quiet moment of reflection in this process it is. Political process to choose a new -- -- mistakes but it is also a spiritual process they've asked the world's Catholics to pray with them. To -- the holy spirit come to that and make the best decisions of the church I also understand David there are some new rules in place regarding some of the cardinals speeches -- That's right. Over the past -- -- three days the cardinals have been meeting. And what's calling general congregation and the users cardinals -- vote in the election younger -- girls underage eighty. And older cardinals -- -- JD were barred from participating in the election but who are here to share their experience and people have shared their experience a -- 51 cardinals -- fire continents have gotten up. To talk about. Out -- days he has the priority -- the church. And that some of the cardinals say privately that. Maybe they could have done with a shorter speech. They've now limited the remarks took five minute speech in order to. -- -- -- -- -- -- I -- now once this prayer service concludes who will the press have access to the cardinals. That's unclear. We've been told and certainly the American cardinals. Have now shut down there press operations. They had been giving daily briefings that we're giving certain color from the proceedings but not. Last substance the substances protected by secrecy -- however. And some of the other cardinals are Italian cardinal -- suspects have been talking to very well sourced Vatican press folks in the in that printed press here. And some of the things that they've disclosed. Are. Pretty track pretty well what's what's going on inside the Vatican has concerns about the the -- And then asked the cardinals to respect the -- and most of the cardinals will not be speaking on the record at least that's ahead. You know -- and shortly after meant they made this announcement admitted to get a cardinal on the phone. So -- still speaking to the -- just not on camera I say well I suppose it's tough to get it had consensus for a 115 to -- by all the rules at once and the guys that set the rules the cardinals are princes of the church they're not used to being told what to do. They're also jockeying for position because once he electors go behind closed doors. No outside influences are permitted so -- the news media is used. By these cardinals themselves as a way of picking themselves up -- putting one of the others down it's a very subtle form of politics. Because look at them out. There all dressed the same it's -- very gentlemanly group this is in some ways the most exclusive club in the world and that that former dress that you're seeing right there on the screen we're told by some of the cardinals' staff members that's cardinal casual. That's how they were graduate -- not a formal -- -- those -- were close. So these are men who are would ever. Politicking in a very refined atmosphere. -- once the behind the closed -- however the politics things done in the holy it's up to them in the holy spirit so they wanna work every angle they can -- David -- mission to find out as you've been making your way around Vatican City what does the mood is there are building excitement as we are approaching conclave among people on the streets. And there is a building -- Simon there's there -- Last week here a sense of it's anxiety among some of the folks who we talk a bit of -- looms larger in life -- Italians then. Or in in in America for the most part. In part because he's in the neighborhood. And so people I've told us that's when Benedict resigned it was very unsettling because here's a bigger that's supposed to last a lifetime and instead these. Making it and it in permanent job. They're they're that -- the foundations of peoples and it. I don't know ecosystem. For what -- better work. Now there's a sense of excitement of possibility. All sorts of groups are coming forward and -- their suggestions. Both positive and negative things that the church should be considering people the church should rule out. And in the shop window of the place where they make their. That person investments from the new they put out three -- and in small medium and large ready to Wear clothes many. -- also isn't -- -- what the reaction has spent some of those early pictures by the Italian magazine she. On of about some of the -- the casual days now hope America Tennessee is -- being as widely consumes. I. There as it is here in the United States. It is and it's funny because. Part of -- about this yesterday -- You know we were told that -- Benedict retreating behind the walls and everywhere to see him anymore that we were told yesterday -- Arnold sent a message jam we've seen these pictures from paparazzi peering over the walls as he walks in the garden. We've been told what he's reading and what he's watching on TV. The cargo sent to us that. Cardinal O'Malley of Boston said -- -- in the interim he still you know. -- As. Emeritus -- he still will be the emeritus leader of the church. It's. Because they haven't yet selected that new person Matt -- and close attention in the future but little what it will be seeing things -- seeing going forward. The church hasn't had an emeritus Bob Benton and quite a -- -- centuries. Time all right David Wright for us live just. Outside of saint Peter's. David and -- do we know when exactly this prayer service will be wrapping up needs -- this will. Probably be going on for a good hour or so -- judging from the liturgy which -- just emailed around. It is instead -- And is part of the show -- we don't get to see inside the general congregation -- Liturgical events like this remind everyone of the sobriety of what these men are discussing. And -- the state with which. People are investing in this process people who someone points -- Roman Catholics around the world are watching this event very holes. And that in itself is certainly something that -- we are all keep an eyes on David Wright David thank you so much. Clear inside -- your observations this morning here the United States anywhere that evening. Over just outside the Vatican's of course we will continue to have a complete write up -- a recap on abcnews.com. But for now. We were return you back to your regularly scheduled program. Since -- -- special with the from in the ABC news now.

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

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