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Rome Reports

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Sistine Chapel prepared for Conclave

The ramp, tables and chairs where they will sit, as well as the presidential table for three scrutineers chosen at random, are in place. There is another table set aside for the Gospels, where each cardinal will take an oath of secrecy on whatever happens inside the Conclave. The smoke announcing to the world the end of the conclave, and the election of a new Pope, will stream out of this chimney. It is about four feet tall and was first used in the 1939 conclave that elected Pius XII. Since then, the dates of each fumata bianca, or white smoke, it announced are engraved on its sides. Working around the clock, Vatican handymen also prepared the balcony at St. Peter's Basilica, to welcome the new Pope. With the help of a fire truck, the workers put up the red velvet drapes through which the new Pope will walk through to introduce himself and deliver to the world his first blessing as Pope. BR/RCarr SN ND - PR U:VIC