Cardinals & Conclaves

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Teresa Tomeo on Mar 06, 2013
Tagged in: Teresa's Blog

T.inSistineChapelLittle did I know when I was standing in the Sistine Chapel only weeks ago leading a pilgrimage in January that soon Cardinals from around the world would be gathering in that same spot to select the new leader of the Catholic Church. Fast forward to March and here we are just about to watch the next Papal Conclave begin. It is truly amazing to have just been in that most moving location.


So when will the Conclave begin? After meetings Tuesday with the Cardinals, we still don’t have an exact time frame as no vote was taken on the actual start date.  We do know that the Sistine Chapel is now closed to tourists and that means preparations inside are underway. Back in 2005 during the last Papal Conclave those preparations took a full week, including setting up enough chairs and tables to accommodate the Cardinals, and most importantly security sweeps. 


All of this is history in the making and for a Church that has often been accused of being irrelevant; more than 5,000 journalists from 66 countries have received press credentials. The eyes of the world are on Rome and more specifically the Vatican. 


Probably one of the most powerful experiences for me in my visits to Rome has been the unique opportunity to spend time not only in the Sistine Chapel but in the famous “Room of Tears.” This is where the new Vicar of Christ changes into the papal vestments. It is referred to as the Room of Tears because, of course, of the emotion of the moment as well as no doubt the responsibility that comes with the Chair of Peter.  After the Pope is vested in the Room of Tears he walks from that room and makes his way to the central balcony or loggia of St. Peter’s where the new Pope is then introduced to the world with the words “Habemus Papam,” “We have a Pope.”


I’m going to be covering the story and the Conclave in the coming days. Be sure to join me on Facebook at and on Twitter @TeresaTomeo to keep up with all the latest news on the Papal Conclave.


For media inquiries on this topic, please view the Press Release sent out on the Christian Newswire today: