March 12, 2013 - 10:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Cardinals, who gathered to elect a new pope, will begin voting later on Tuesday, March 12 with no clear frontrunner in sight, BBC News reports.
The 115 cardinal-electors will attend a special Mass in the morning before processing into the Sistine Chapel to begin their deliberations in the afternoon. They will vote four times daily until two-thirds can agree on a candidate.
The election was prompted by the surprise resignation of Benedict XVI.
The challenges of leading a Church beset by problems ranging from the sexual abuse scandal to accusations of corruption at the Vatican bank proved too much for the 85-year-old now known as Pope emeritus.
They now lie ahead for his successor, once he is elected.
Tuesday morning will be dominated by the saying of the Mass "for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff", beginning at 1000 (0900 GMT) in St Peter's Basilica.
In the afternoon, 115 cardinal-electors - all under 80, as those over 80 are excluded - will proceed into the Sistine Chapel for the secret conclave to select Benedict's successor.
Once they have taken an oath of secrecy, Msgr Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies, will call out the words "Extra omnes" - "Everybody out" - and the chapel doors will be locked to outsiders.
The 85-year-old Pope emeritus resigned on 28 February after eight years in office, citing ill health. He was the first Pope in six centuries to do so.