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Rome Reports

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Sistine Chapel ready for Conclave

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Vatican spokesman "In the Sistine Chapel, before every seat, there is a copy of the 'Ordo Rituum Conclavis,' which is part of the Apostolic Constitution. There's also a copy of the Liturgy of the Hours, so they may all pray the Vespers together.â? On Tuesday morning, a Pre-Conclave Mass will be celebrated. The official title of this Mass is the 'Pro Eligendo Summon Pontifice.' It will be led by Cardinal Angelo Sodano and all cardinal electors will be there. To ensure the tradition of privacy during the Conclave, over 30 Vatican doors will be closed off. At 4:30 pm cardinals will make their way to the Sistine Chapel. About an hour later, a Monsignor  will utter the famous Latin phrase "extra omnes.' This calls for anyone who is not a cardinal elector to leave. That evening will mark the first vote. A so called 'fumata' or smoke is expected at around 8 pm. FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Vatican spokesman "Cardinals will vote, but given the fact that it will be the first round, it's very unlikely that a Pope will be elected immediately. So, you can probably expect to see black smoke. Then the cardinals will make their way back to the Casa Santa Marta.â? The spokesperson also talked about what exactly happens once a Pope is elected. Before he introduces himself before the world in St. Peter's Square, he changes clothing and wears a white Papal vestment. He reads a Bible passage about St. Peter as cardinals promise their loyalty. Then, all together, they pray the 'Te Deum,' which is a hymn of thanksgiving. From the moment a Pope is elected until he's seen before the balcony in St. Peter, about an hour will have passed. FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI Vatican spokesman "One thing that's new and expected this year is that before the newly elected Pope goes out to the balcony, he will go to the Pauline Chapel to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. He will pray alone and in silence. Then he will go out to the balcony and impart his first Urbi et Orbi blessing.â? The last general congregation meeting took place on Monday morning. Twenty eight cardinals spoke, so in total there were 161 interventions throughout their ten meetings. Among the topics that were discussed in the last congregation meeting was the Vatican's IOR Bank. That intervention was led by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. RCG/KLH -AA JM -PR u:VIC