Secret conclave to elect next pope set for 12 March
London, Mar. 9 : The Catholic cardinals gathered in Rome have voted to begin the secret election, or conclave, to elect a new pope on 12th March, the Vatican said.
More than 150 cardinals took the long-anticipated decision to begin voting on Tuesday, 12 days after Benedict XVI resigned the papacy because of fatigue and old age.
The conclave will be held amid the utmost secrecy in the Sistine Chapel, famous for its frescoes by Michelangelo and other Renaissance masters, the Telegraph reports.
The longest conclave in the 20th century took five days, and most lasted between two and four days.
During the conclave the cardinals will stay in a palazzo inside the Vatican City State called Domus Sanctae Marthae, a sort of Holy See hotel normally used to accommodate visiting prelates, the report said.
They will sleep in plain, but comfortably furnished rooms with crucifixes above the beds.
According to the repot, when one of the cardinals is elected the new Pope, he will move into the largest suite, room 201, which boasts an elaborately-carved wooden bed, its bedstead embossed with a figure of Christ suffering on the cross.
He will stay there for several weeks, while Benedict's former apartment inside the Apostolic Palace undergoes some renovation work, the report added.