Electing a Pope: Rules of the Conclave

Voting Cardinals are cut off from the outside world throughout the process of choosing a pontiff.
2:40 | 02/26/13

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Transcript for Electing a Pope: Rules of the Conclave
Okay. Okay. Okay. Earlier over the past 100 years papal elections had been held in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. Cardinals are totally cut off from the outside world television telephones newspapers cell phones computers all -- And no sleep and eat in the -- march a house in private rooms each with a bathroom. Santa -- house is located inside the Vatican's walls. Aside from the cardinals about seventy other people are allowed into such -- doctors cooks and housekeepers. Who can vote for a Pope only cardinals who are under the age of eighty at the time of the pope's death. Who can be elected Pope the rule is very simple it says any Catholic male who is not married he's eligible. -- for more than a thousand years it's almost always been a cardinal the ballots are secret and initially at two thirds majority is needed. Four votes are cast in those days to in the morning to in the afternoon though it can -- it. Each cardinal -- -- choice and a ballot slipped a rectangular card. -- in order of seniority each cardinal takes it up to the front of the chapel where he recites a brief -- The ballots -- -- shaken to mix them and insure anonymity and taken out one by one and read aloud says that each cardinal. He keep his own tally. In the old days when no Pope was elected the ballots were burned with wet straw to produce black smoke in Italian mocked in the and -- visible above this is -- chapel -- Nowadays different chemical pellets are used to produce the black or if there's a hope they'll white smoke known as -- -- Bianca. The smoke signals usually come out twice a day at the end of the morning and at the end of the afternoon until a Pope is elected. If after about twelve days there's still no -- the cardinals can choose to change the balloting -- that only a simple majority is needed to elect the new owner. When the votes -- finally tally up for one man he is asked by the dean of the cardinals if he will accept any -- does. He is asked by what name he wishes to be called. After the cardinal deacon announces -- -- this happened to the crowds outside which is Latin for we have a Pope. The new Pope appears. He gives his first message to the world.

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

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