Papal Conclave 2013: Cardinals Take Oath of Secrecy

The ancient Vatican ritual to elect a new pope begins at the Sistine Chapel.
33:08 | 03/12/13

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Transcript for Papal Conclave 2013: Cardinals Take Oath of Secrecy
When this is an ABC news digital special reports I'm Dan -- in New York cash and we are watching live coverage of the conclave. 115. -- the Roman Catholic Church eligible to vote. Are inside the Pauline chapel you can see the live shot there where soon behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel they will elevate one of their own. And elect a supreme -- the cardinals are. About to make their way into the Sistine Chapel right now looking though inside -- -- cargo. Giovanni Battista -- Is presiding over this celebration this morning. Cardinal raise the prefect emeritus of the congregation of bishops and was elevated to cardinal in 2001. He retired as prefect in June 2010 which means that he is not eligible to vote for the next Pope and -- thus given the honor. Of leading this ceremony. I want to bring in father John got very who is with the US conference of Catholic bishops he -- in Washington DC Skyping with us this afternoon. Father thank you for joining us. It is a momentous -- a lot of people have been looking forward to this for the with a good deal of excitement. Absolutely. -- it's a very exciting day for the church has its transitions to. A new era really endeavor as every new poll comes and it's a new time and so it's very exciting for us. What has been the consensus over the past couple of days we've been hearing that some the cardinals say that there in fact. It's a growing deal of confidence that a new Pope will be elected at a relatively short period of time. Yeah it's it's I think it's prob. We true -- won't be today I'm almost certain but I would say by tomorrow or Thursday would very likely. But what we don't know that's. They haven't laid their cards on the table so to speak. This first vote is very important. For the first time they'll see what everybody else is thinking. And then the prayer and the dialogue will continue and tell someone reaches the 772. Thirds vote necessary. Right of the 100. Fifteen cardinals that are eligible to vote as you mentioned two thirds majority is required which is 77. 77. Votes. I wanted to read you something that cardinal Dolan. On the archbishop of new York and sent out to his priests in a letter this morning saying there seems to be hope that we could with God's guidance. Have a new holy father. By Thursday. Sounds like a pretty optimistic. The top. Line for things. Well I think that's probably right. Once they see who are their real contenders I think they have -- us some idea of that now but once they see what the -- are. We pray that by Thursday Friday that the holy spirit will influence. The electors and we'll have. What somebody. The new -- coming out on on the closure. Now father -- for watching the cardinals make their way over to the Sistine Chapel there reciting. The litany of saints could you explain the importance. Of this. Yes it's a very very beautiful thing that they're calling on the saints. Who. Are our Brothers and sisters in the lore handed in in fact when cardinal ray and his that are original. These as he -- with his opening prayer he was talking about the fact that all the churches gathered with them in prayer now. And not just the church on earth but the church of heaven and so we prayed the -- the saints had to. Baptism. We -- -- confirmations. We created or nations. Because what we do hear what they're doing now as they entered -- Sistine Chapel is something very holy. And they want the saints to be praying for them because this is -- extremely daunting task they have in front of them. And too weighty for any of them to handle on their own self knowing the saints are with them is very very important for them. Father got free stay with that's but I also want to bring in father Matt Malone editor in chief of America Roman Catholic magazine. Father -- your Skyping with us from Rome. And if you can explain a little bit about the process for the election which is something that -- -- so many Roman Catholic or otherwise. Because of the amount of detail that goes into the process wrong. Indeed. One. Return to their. And then be -- to get -- They present from calling Yahoo! and other producers to. Andy -- a -- sale and then they will. They've -- Voted today. It is an extremely important. Because it does give an indication there are one we're Miller and we're and other than. -- know when they. A decision today -- the that in the mobile front. -- it -- it's it's certainly has been father. Yet -- watching the cardinals make their way as their ballot at the altar at the Pauline chapel and moving over to the Sistine Chapel. There are others that will be in this procession correct that will go into the Sistine Chapel. Yes -- there are two yeah. There will be the secretary. Cardinals. The -- will be more yeah in the area. Doctors and nurses and secretary. That's the. Because there is still a process before the boat actually occurs there is. There are some -- served. Prayers and silent meditation in the Sistine Chapel with others -- -- the cardinals that takes place before the actual vote correct. -- veterans. Glendale. We little lunacy he error being. The start him quirky they actually blew the doors and -- -- Brilliant brilliant product. You can see the cardinals making their way up to the altar there wearing their red robes their -- shadows those. White garments. The -- the half -- and those. Famous. Very distinguished red -- the -- The father got three wanted to bring you back into this there has been so much discussion about the direction of the Catholic church and as we've been hearing about they have the confidence that it that a new Pope could be elected in a relatively short period of time do you feel that this has spent. Up forty unanimous. Group of cardinals in these past couple of days. Well I think that they've been pretty careful about. Showing their hand about what they believe IA I think that. We -- we're not in privy to be in the room with them -- the general congregation. To hear what they're hearing. So I don't know what the unanimity as we pray as Catholics that they can't come to a consensus. And come to unity I think that colonel Saddam on his homily. Talk very strongly about the need for unity in this whole process. Because the -- is one of his most important task is to be a unifier to to unify us in love in faith and and hold. And so that's our trailer that what -- unified there are right now. I -- they very much are but by the end of it that one of the things that they're going to be doing with the -- He is to say that whoever is elected we are going to stand behind this this man and we're going to be unified and I think that's going to be a very important for the church going forward. 115 cardinals will enter into the Sistine Chapel for that votes and father -- wanted to get your thoughts do you feel that this is. A unified. College. It's. Like I don't know certainly human life and their entire city -- right decision. You know there are always differences of opinion even -- a group of people. That is girl pointed I. Don't hold him. Of the Harvard dormitory. And donated so they'll they'll share -- certain. -- -- position certain. And doctors. Today unity do have differences of opinion and the -- are you -- the church. It was a second. The west given that this crisis and the Vatican bureaucracy and brightly. In the derby and you know what America you know how Bloomberg News and a oldest. Or -- refugees. Each of the cardinals has had a chance over the past couple of days to. Make a speech and because of this size of the college some of them had to be -- down to a five minute speech but. At the same time each one had their voice heard and I'm wondering how much those speeches play into the decision or -- cardinals come in into the Vatican with. An idea of who in fact they want to support as the next politics father got I wanted to pose that question to you. -- I think -- the speeches. Are very important in the in the unifying of the cardinals that they. They come and I -- with some openness they may have some ideas obviously they -- some -- -- know each other little better than others. But for some of these their new cardinals and they don't know each other at all and so I think those days that's why they took their time. To really. Look at the issues and have a chance to express their opinions and not just. In speeches but at the coffee bar at dinner and -- having chances to just rub elbows. And talk about. Where the church is -- word they would like to see the church -- It. There were listening in as we can hear them singing the litany of saints as they're making their procession. Into the Sistine Chapel. Father Malone I wanted to get your thoughts. On the that the process once they are inside the Sistine Chapel doors been closed. Does the vote take place immediately. It. Another -- heritage tour continues today. They had to -- a period of prayer and -- And he condom. Until then delivers. -- an intruder did you and and and they they and -- And the fatherland father got -- -- open -- up to two both of you can you explain a little bit about the order in which the cardinals are making their procession and I believe it also. As an impact in the -- in -- -- yet. The -- horror and dream. In the order of seniority so Arnold raised. -- -- -- -- -- laugh. That is tradition -- enters the -- CEO -- -- like. -- -- -- -- -- -- And as for watching -- the cardinals assembling inside. Preparing for the first vote. I believe we still have -- Gonzales on the phone with us. We will be checking back with Marcy in a moment she is. In Vatican City with ABC and father got three. I want to ask you a little bit of bouts. Is that the direction of the church and perhaps. Any leanings towards the possibility. A north American and maybe possibly even the first US. Cardinal becoming Pope. Well there's been quite -- -- -- conjecture on that recently around cardinal Dolan and cardinal O'Malley and even cardinal -- here in Washington. The traditional view was that they would never elect American because America was the superpower and that would put some. Some unneeded pressure on him and the paper -- because of that connection. But. I think that. I personally think it's going to be a long shots they'll. But for the first time Americans are really getting aid serious hearing in terms of the possibility of being elected Pope. And it all has to do with. The question of what as we talked last week or ten days ago about. The new -- nation and what is the right face for the church to have. In the face of a world that's increasingly secular rise to an increasingly. Seemingly turning away from faith. Not just catholicism but many different types of organized religion. So what voice can give Jesus Christ and the best. What can be the best use of that voice in the pay to see. And I and something that the Americans especially -- Dolan has a great. Presents in the world and a great media presents now that's an American perspective and these 115. Cardinals are trying to look at it from may a world perspective -- so what might play for Americans. Might not be the exact media presence that would appeal to an African or to an Asian audience so. There's so much in the mix here. But it is encouraging to know that Americans are getting a a serious look and they will have a serious voice in this whole thing. Father Malone how are the American cardinals receipt. Nine and elsewhere around the world as father -- had pointed out that obviously it's -- received very favorably here in the United States as. Possibly changing the face the space of the Roman Catholic Church but but elsewhere outside the US borders. We'll talk -- redirect -- into the third president. Change into the in the dancer and the American delegation. -- I actually did the vehicle's presence and that you didn't -- standard they're desperate but he's been attending the reception. And I didn't elaborate on the reasons what I really don't really do her duty that. T and you know that is the challenges in the commuter -- wow. I think every. You know. So there -- looking into nontraditional places for. The second -- it is that Pope Benedict resignation being president and you know in the modern day. Really shop and I think it -- me -- unthinkable unthinkable horror a lot of people. So we're really -- it would people and then re imagine and -- envision. -- you know possible future directions. And a third minute. Wow one of -- from local residents -- editor submit material right. And the American her -- They're pretty managers and they have some experience managing. -- it is just another -- and. We'll deal -- feel lucky. -- committee deals two minutes it takes on the -- video. -- Monrovia tonight. -- they have viewers for the ninety's Thailand stadiums Mondale will fail -- ago. Sikh man they use a few minutes and had signed that they yemen's India -- and may have done. Name Thomas and I was columns on mobile mobile -- Seeing new news on two next time data -- -- -- a man. Yeah. And they go and no meaning and now he's got us. Phone Bill Caldwell -- -- meant there was do it mid -- sun that date on Acadia. -- -- -- And table -- vehicle -- -- -- let's say it's only old coal -- -- little. -- -- -- -- -- -- Its sound that they have been -- Today not -- We take -- yourself. He's got his big voting slots still involve real lucky you'll. -- meant there was do it. It takes on third day here in Virginia. Where a man -- man time. He called him secret another stolen notes on the -- -- we'll be. Oral seem obvious you. That -- sanctity Kelly and. That was the archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan media and this citing his -- -- -- We'll be -- has all 115. Cardinals me you would continue the process of conflict and just a short time he -- any less cardinal will take you there -- the master of liturgical celebrations archbishop. We don't marine and will then and give the order has -- -- Paul and father got -- fall ill can you explain the significance of the order because at that point was that -- when the 115 cardinals will be in seclusion correct. Correct he'll say -- -- as everyone out. And they will close the doors and -- -- and that's the last you'll see I think that TV cameras will bought at that point is well known as. And they will be -- there and tell of course the election happens than it is moving back and forth from. The Sistine Chapel to the -- -- something -- But they'll be in seclusion that entire time collection happens. The local time there is about twenty minutes after five -- -- and we could expect that first vote -- in the next. One to three hours is that correct. Yes they have to do some work as -- mentioned. Of choosing a different -- nine different cardinals. But that shouldn't take a long time and they'll be ready to cast that first vote. I must say damn I'm. -- watching this very moved by the international. Quality and as you see the whole world basically represented here from every continent -- and it's quite striking. The capitalist city of the church in in these 115. Elect. Here's the -- and -- have -- these. Spawned a full field of view. -- -- -- -- -- The state -- could be offensive -- -- -- mania. It gave or agreed on his victory was studying -- suppose they'll Oreo -- She didn't do such -- -- -- -- Italian -- the only time. -- didn't -- the use that in the finale sneak caught us -- deal mobile look you don't. She committed deal side -- -- big Tex sun that day -- It -- Williams Joseph Cuddy and others that they -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Six made news urgent bid and weeks and that the -- -- Clinton on the man time. -- table fronts you know these related -- bill ball -- a little. -- videos argument that big son that they have on JD -- It is going to be an out of has -- -- Sun City. It's all available via UC. Davis. -- that he -- yet -- done. It's big Giuliani systems analysis -- -- heels won their overall male who. Six revenues -- activated it takes on the David. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- video such treatments and takes -- that didn't India. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Mondale -- real OK you -- She commit there was you read. Detective Sandra -- Abrams. -- man. That it goes -- these -- have these these things do go. Spoke -- kudos should reduce few minutes. The tech -- -- you have entered. Quick moment. -- de -- and stuff like that he not his -- now. Spoon until fulfill do you -- She -- there was side you've baked it takes until Dave and -- yet been Monroe man thousands. It stayed cool -- -- -- kind of the united some two. This phone -- involved -- Hugo. She commit suicide give it to fix on that these -- indeed yeah. Goodman Lumia time. It's a little bit discussion as. Spawn new movie you know a -- little. -- -- -- -- It takes some be even -- -- yet human mayor Tom. Did they go home front -- schools got the -- -- slumped ABC. -- -- -- -- -- -- She commit suicide do great terrific sound that they given -- remind me out time -- At Diego -- known -- Leo Cardenas who work. Spawned you know all of the you know -- Seek committee as I -- that it takes sun to be even -- claim on new man time. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- She comedians such you -- to take -- that the effect TV. -- on me yet. Didn't Diego followed -- got -- the united subsided teaspoon -- for -- -- little. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- She commit they whose idea it did take us on that day and engage in criminal man. But they're proven us use credit and obviously would be spawned deal a blow -- look you little. -- -- -- -- -- It takes until -- instead you have -- -- may have time. It -- young man's -- and she schools -- -- the united sort of resin. It's fallen bill -- will look you don't. Seek made there was argument. It takes some that they -- They take up got to do not obvious. 59 news belongings. Bond -- fulfilled -- you don't see commit de -- occupant. At stake is sound that they've given -- yet. But -- -- -- A table -- -- cutting has mounted customs O'Neill Foleo are you legal. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- hero charmed -- cut the united somebody disgusting -- Spawned deal polio like you don't. She made inside -- it did they shot at any of -- India -- -- -- It. Good to go on uniformity. Could deny us a video. -- -- vote no but you. -- good news -- do it. It takes on Thursday -- -- gave me could in my live time. Particularly using -- better than that he spent ten should fund available they'll love you wrote she -- it -- fabulous. It takes and that they when Julia -- -- town. There's tables and she's close it got in on his vocal but media deals on the overall -- -- She committed suicide unit statistics on that they have and -- India remind -- times. Did -- go home but I ask you about these -- these spawned deals fulfilled a Q. CQ made hillside do these things son that they -- -- again -- Mono mania time. It a go -- wouldn't cut and Alex -- -- they'll -- avail. -- -- -- -- -- -- It takes on -- -- If they don't -- -- -- -- the united. Suppose they'll evolve Hugo. -- it is -- it -- on -- day offensive yet in my Lumia. Midday -- say it was evident out of this business based on the -- -- -- if you -- Sieckmann bails -- unit nitpick something they have -- data yet been model may have found them. Diego vehicle who's got a nice hard news on the overall we -- -- She videos argue that it takes on a daily Virginia we mono -- Congo. And so the last of the cardinals all 115. Have recited their own personal -- And the voting is about to begin in just a short period of time inside the Sistine Chapel. Waiting for that. Master of liturgical celebrations archbishop -- -- -- to give the order extra -- -- Next that are on the needs. On the needs. And that. Latin for everyone. House. The Swiss guards flanking both sides of the doors of the Sistine Chapel. And soon as no one but the 115. Voting cardinals and sides. They will be a lot. And the voting will begin shortly thereafter. Bishops acting out of the Sistine Chapel right now. Ticketmaster liturgical celebrations. Went on the creditors agreeing. Father got three F five could bring you -- talk about the process for securing. Such as sacred and private place and sweeping for any kind of listening devices any kind of electronic monitoring devices the Sistine Chapel has been prepared. Sure has they've not all that work are ready and they're getting ready now to close the door -- and seal it with a seal. And of course the Swiss guards are there as they always are. So it is is as well sealed and and rightly so this needs to be handled. Between these 115 in god and of course all of us that are praying with them for them. In these. -- -- a long we have I trust we're all going to be praying that God's will be done. And the indication that we will get that as successful -- has occurred or -- -- has occurred will be from the chimney. The Sistine Chapel that room. That has been outfitted with that special -- is just off of the chapel is that what I understand. It's it's actually within that section that. The marine he's walking through right now. They have still been there -- cardinals on the other side and here he closed. New York. -- And so with that. The process. Begins. In secrets. You 115 cardinals could have their first vote today we could have -- The new Pope. As early as 1 o'clock eastern time today for father Matt Malone Skyping with us from Rome and father John Guthrie from Washington DC. Fathers thank you both so much. For your insight. And commentary -- of course we will be back as soon as there is smoke billowing from that chimney outside of the Sistine Chapel could be black it may be light. Certainly dramatic. So please join us then right here on abcnews.com. I'm Dan Cutler in New York. And we now return you sheer -- is scheduled program.

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

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