Final preparations for conclave completed
March 12, 2013
Final preparations for the papal conclave of March 2013 were completed on Tuesday morning.
The 115 cardinal-electors who will choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI moved into their rooms in the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Tuesday morning. The cardinals will remain in their simple dormitory-style rooms—to which they were assigned by lottery-- until a new Pope is chosen.
The largest suite of rooms in the Vatican residence remains empty. It will be used by the newly elected Pontiff, who will remain there until renovations are completed in the papal apartments on the 3rd floor of the apostolic palace.
More than 5,600 reporters have descended on Rome to cover the election of the new Pope. A media center has been set up in the Paul VI auditorium, and the terrace on top of one wing of the Bernini colonnade around St. Peter’s Square has been occupied by journalists. A large platform has been erected in the square, in front of the façade of the basilica, to accommodate the hundreds of television cameras that will be focused on the loggia when the new Pope is introduced. For now the cameras are fixed on the little chimney rising from the roof of the Sistine Chapel.
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