- Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.
- Bergoglio is the first ever Pope from South America and has chosen the name of Francis I.
8.17pm As a billion Catholics around the world absorb the news that they have a new pontiff, Pope Francis I of Argentina, we are closing this blog.
See our picture gallery of the day a new pope was elected:
Pope Francis I of Argentina Emerges in St Peter's Square [PHOTOS]
7.34pm "Pray for me, I'll see you soon. Good night and rest well," Francis I said.
Bergoglio returned inside Saint Peter's basilica from the loggia overlooking St. Peter's Square, after saying goodbye to the cheering crowd below.
7.31pm Francis I intoned the Lord's prayer:
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil."
7.28pm "We pray for a big brotherhood in the world," said Francis I, speaking in Italian.
7.25pm "Brother and sisters good evening!" said Francis I.
"It seems the conclave went to the other side of the world to find a new Pope"
"I want to pray for pope emeritus Benedict XVI."
7.14pm Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina is the 266<sup>th Pope of the Catholic Church.
He has chosen the name of Francis I. Bergoglio is the first ever Pope from South America.
7.12pm Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran is on the balcony. "Habemus Papam!"
7.06pm The light is on in the room beside the loggia of the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran is about to come out and pronounce the famous formula "Habemus Papam (We have a Pope)" followed by the name of the new pontiff.
7.05pm Before emerging on the loggia of the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square, the 266th pope has to change into his papal white cassock, and receive the oath of obedience of the 115 cardinals, who approach him one-by-one.
He is to stop and pray in the Pauline Chapel for a few minutes.
7.00pm The name of the new pope should be announced within the next few minutes. Saint Peter's square is waiting.
6.51pm The new pope's clothes are ready - in fact they were ready long before he was.
The family-owned Gammarelli tailor shop, which has dressed popes for two centuries, had three sets of vestments - in small, medium and large - prepared for the naming of the new pontiff.
6.48pm The home page of the Vatican's official website Vatican.va reads "Habemus Papam"
6.42pm The new pope is due to emerge from the loggia overlooking St. Peter's Square to deliver his first words as the Bishop of Rome.
He was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, elected on the fifth ballot.
6.40pm Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran will announce the new pontiff's name using the elected cardinal's first name in Latin.
6.33pm Before the start of the conclave, the favourite to succeed Benedict XVI was said to be Milan Archbishop Angelo Scola.
Scola, 71, entered the conclave with a narrow margin over a handful of non-European candidates: Peter Turkson from Ghana, the Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan and Sean Patrick O'Malley from Boston, Canada's Marc Ouellet and Brazil's Cardinal Odilo Scherer.
Other possible winners are: Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Cardinal Malcom Ranjith from Sri Lanka Cardinal, Luis Antonio Tagle, from Manila and the Archbishop of Budapest Peter Erdo.
6.30pm The faithful in Saint Peter's square are singing "VIVA IL PAPA (Hurrah for the Pope)"
6.26pm The name of the new leader of the Catholic Church is to be announced within a hour.
Meanwhile worshippers are cheering in Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican.
6.24pm The 115 cardinals agreed on a new pontiff more quickly than many had expected.
"If it is a short conclave and we see the white smoke quite quickly, then I suspect that it will mean that Cardinal Scola has been elected," Dr James Kelly of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University told IBTimes UK.
6.20pm the world is waiting for Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran to take the central balcony of Saint Peter's basilica and pronounce the famous formula "Habemus Papam (We have a Pope)" followed by the name of the new pontiff.
6.18pm The Vatican's bells are ringing out, as White smoke has been coming out of the chimney for more than 10 minutes.
6.07pm A NEW POPE HAS BEEN ELECTED! White smoke is billowing the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel.
5.35pm The Sistine Chapel's seagull has already his own twitter account: @SistineSeagull.
"It once took 3 years to select a pope. I'm prepared to build a nest if need be. #conclave," the seagull tweeted.
5.30pm The mass of multi-coloured umbrellas packing St Peter's Square, where worshippers are waiting for a new pope to be announced.
Rome's weather has been unusually grey and rainy in the last days. Pilgrims have brought some colour carrying national flags and bright umbrellas. Former basketball star Dennis Rodman contributed wearing a bloomed jacket [scroll down to see it].
5.12pm Changing the guard: a seagull has chased another off its perch on the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. Smoke announcing if cardinals have agreed on a new Pope is expected to emerge from the very same chimney shortly before 7pm.
4.23pm As soon as he is elected, the new pope has to pick up a name. The tradition goes back to Mercurius, in 533, who changed his name to John as his real name - a reference to a pagan god - was not appropriate, PR-wise. The Economist has put together an infographic of the most popular papal names:
4.08pm A seagull rests on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel in St Peter's Square at the Vatican.
4.00pm Cardinals are back inside the Sistine Chapel trying to choose successor to Benedict XVI
3.00pm As black smoke billows from the Vatican for a second successive day, announcing that cardinals remain divided over who should be pope, the names of a small bunch of outsiders have begun to set tongues wagging in St Peter's Square.
After three ballots, no candidate has gained the 77 votes necessary to be anointed pontiff - and speculation about a victory for one of the outsiders continues to mount.
"The more we wait, the better chance we have of having a surprise," said one of the worshippers who gathered in the square to get close to the conclave.
Angelo Scola, 71, entered the conclave with a narrow margin over a handful of non-European candidates - Peter Turkson from GhanaUS cardinals Timothy Dolan and Sean Patrick O'Malley, Canada's Marc Ouellet and Brazil's Cardinal Odilo Scherer.
But now another group of runner-ups is reportedly catching up.
2.42pm US president Barack Obama dismissed speculation that an American pope would be too closely aligned with the US government. He said that the Roman Catholic bishops in the US "don't seem to be taking orders from me" and that an American pope would not be different to one from any other country. No American has ever served as pontiff. In an interview with ABC news, Obama said the new head of the Catholic Church will have "a tremendous and positive impact on the world".
2.00pm Former basketball star Dennis Rodman, a five-times NBA champion, is seen in this Reuters picture walking outside St Peter's Square. Rodman, who is being chaperoned by representatives of an Irish betting firm, said he travelled to Rome in support of a black pope. "I want to be anywhere in the world that I'm needed," he said. "I want to spread a message of peace and love throughout the world."
12.25am Pope emeritus Benedict XVI watching conclave events on TV, praying for cardinals, Lombardi says.
12.15am Multiple ballots a sign of "normal process of discernment by cardinals," Lombardi says. He stressed that it's "very normal" to have black smoke yesterday night and this morning, "no sign of particular split among the cardinals". Lombardi giving chemical composition of smoke cartridges of the Sistine stove (potassium, zinc, sulphur coming from five cartridges mixed with the burning ballots). Media applauds.
12.09am Father Lombardi at media centre briefing with Fr Rosica and Fr Gil Tamayo: "They started to call us 'The Trinity'". He said the smoke signals so far mean there were three ballots without anyone getting 77 votes.
11.40am Last night, Barcelona beat Milan 4 - 0 in the Champions League. Barcelona have now played three games during papal conclaves, and they won them all 4-0, according to the Guardian.
11.37am Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is "watching everything on TV" as the conclave proceeds, according to Father Thomas Rosica.
11.23am After this morning's votes, cardinals return to Casa Santa Marta for lunch; back to Sistine Chapel to vote again at 3pm
10:54am Only one man since the start of the 20th century, Pius XII in 1939, was elected within three ballots, with seven ballots on average required over the last nine conclaves. Benedict was clear frontrunner in 2005 and elected after only four ballots.
10.43am Black smoke has emerged from the Sistine Chapel. No decision has been made
10.00am When the new pope is announced, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran of France, as top-ranking cardinal deacon, will say in Latin: "I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope: His most Eminent and Reverend Lordship, Lord ..." followed by the Latin version of the chosen cardinal's first name.
9.42am If no smoke by 11am Rome time, we can assume morning's first ballot was unsuccessful. Ballots to be burned with next batch (@CatholicNewsSvc). If no pope is elected on the first morning ballot or first evening ballot, those are burned with second morning ballot or second evening ballot
9.30am Cardinals are returning to the Sistine Chapel for a second day of voting to choose a new pope.
9.10am Today's schedule:
- 7:45 a.m. (0645 GMT): Cardinals travel to the Pauline Chapel.
- 8:15 a.m. (0715 GMT): Mass in the Pauline Chapel.
- 9:30 a.m. (0830 GMT): Prayer in the Sistine Chapel, voting starts.
- 12:30 p.m. (1130 GMT): Cardinals retire to their hotel for lunch.
- 4 p.m. (1500 GMT): Cardinals return to the Sistine Chapel.
- 4:50 p.m. (1540 GMT): Voting in the Sistine Chapel.
- 7:15 p.m. (1815 GMT): Prayer in the Sistine Chapel.
- 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT): Cardinals return to their hotel
WEDNESDAY 9.00am Welcome back to the live coverage of the Conclave of cardinals to elect the new head of the Catholic Church in the Vatican. As expected, yesteday's meeting failed to produce a new pope. A thick and heavy black smoke was seen billowing from the Sistine Chapel chimney a few hours after the start of the conclave. No candidate, then, had received two-thirds majority (77 votes) needed for election.
After the Extra omnes order ("Everybody out!") intoned by the master of liturgical, intimating that anybody not linked to the election must leave immediately, cardinals started writign his choice on a ballot paper inscribed with the words "Eligo in summum pontificem," or "I elect as supreme pontiff."
The votes were burned in a special stove. But the black smoke was produced by a special smoke flares, akin to those used in football matches or protests, to make the burned ballots black.
Outside, two topless activists from Femen, a radical feminist group from Ukraine, were dragged away by police.
With no cardinal winning the 77 votes, the scarlet-robed prelates returned to the Vatican hotel for a simple dinner of pasta with tomato sauce, soup and vegetables.
Leading contenders for the post are Italian Archbishop of Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola, African hope Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana and Sao Paulo's Archbishop Cardinal Odilio Scherer.
7.00pm IBTimes UK Live coverage of the conclave ends here for today. See you tomorrow at 8.00am.
6.52pm Cardinals will now return to the Vatican hotel. Tomorrow the day will start with a mass in the Pauline Chapel at 8.15am (0715 GMT). At 9.30am (0830 GMT) voting restarts in the Sistine Chapel after a prayer.
6.43pm Black smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. Cardinals haven't agreed on the name of the new pontiff.
6.33pm Less than 30 minutes to the first smoke announcing the outcome of the vote. Meanwhile Swiss Guards flank the closed doors to the Sistine Chapel. Inside the cardinals are deciding who among them will succeed Benedict XVI.
6.13pm Two US cardinals are listed among the favourites to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.
One is Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, who famously sold the cardinal's residence in Boston after to help pay off the debts of the diocese.
The other is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, from New York. They are both up against catholic church resilience to elect an American pope for political reasons.
"Electors are reluctant to choose an American as pope due to how this could be seen in different parts of the world," Dr James Kelly of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University told IBTimes UK.
Here two of their supporters are depicted in St. Peter's Square.
6.00pm Quirky facts:the longest Conclave in history lasted nearly three years. Gregory X was elected pope in 1271 at the end of a conclave started in 1268. To speed things up residents of Viterbo, north of Rome, had to tear the roof off the building where the cardinals were staying and restricted their meals to bread and water.
5.50pm Smoke announcing if the 115 cardinals have agreed on the name of the new pope will emerge from the chimney at 7pm.
"If it is a short conclave and we see the white smoke quite quickly, then I suspect that it will mean that Cardinal Scola has been elected," Dr James Kelly of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University told IBTimes UK.
Read more on the frontrunners to take Benedict's place here: Conclave 2013: Scola, Turkson, Dolan, Scherer, Ouellett and O'Malley Lead Pontiff Run
5.35pm Italian police have stopped a woman from the activist group Femen who was about to stage the group's signature topless demonstration in St. Peter's Square, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
5.30pm Bad weather conditions kept away many of the worshippers who had arrived in Rome to watch the historic election. Among those who gathered in St. Peter's Square despite the heavy rain, there was a man dressed as a monk.
5.10pm Thanks to Gianluca Mezzofiore for the impressive job; the Blog is now taken over by Umberto Bacchi
4.30pm Vatican official Monsignor Guido Marin delivers an Extra omnes order ("Everybody out!"), intimating that anybody not linked to the election must leave immediately. Here's the moment the official closed the door:
4.02pm One by one, Cardinals are taking the oath of secrecy. At the end of the ceremony, cardinals will lock themselves inside the Sistine Chapel.
3:54pm Dress code is "choir dress." For the four heads of Eastern Catholic churches, it's a little different from the rest, according to Catholic news service
3:43pm The 115 Cardinals have entered the Sistine Chapel. Cardinal Re, as the top-ranking cardinal elector, enters Sistine last for the Conclave.
3:39pm Cardinals bow before crucifix, altar in front of Last Judgement before going to their places
4.00pm Cardinals swear to follow conclave rule and keep details of various ballots secret.
3.36pm The chanting of the names of the saints and the procession to Sistine Chapel has begun. Cardinals enter Conclave 2 by 2. First in: US Cardinal Harvey, Italian Cardinal Versaldi
Inside the Pauline Chapel, the cardinals are preparing to walk to the Sistine Chapel.
3.28pm YouTrend has published a survey on the likelihood of each "papabile" being elected : Scola, 34%; Dolan, 11%; Ouellet, 9%
3.22pm South African Catholics have expressed their hope that the new pope will reform their church to allow them to help prevent the spread of AIDS deal with pregnancies resulting from rape, and think about allowing priests to marry.
The Rev. Russell Pollitt, parish priest at the Holy Trinity Church, said he hopes the pope sees the importance of "a new openness to dialogue." Pollitt, a Jesuit, told AP. "I don't think the church understands that people just don't take what comes from on high any more, they want to dialogue about issues."
Pollitt said he does not think the Vatican understands the extent of Africa's AIDS crisis.
"The HIV context here is vastly different from the rest of the world, in that it is a heterosexual problem, not a homosexual problem. Here it affects everybody and I don't think Rome gets that," said Pollitt.
3.00pm Cardinals will walk or take a bus through the Vatican gardens from St. Martha's House to the Apostolic Palace. Then, they will hold a procession from the Pauline Palace to the Sistine Chapel, chanting the Litany of the Saints.
Last tweet from US cardinal Timothy Dalton:
1.55pm At 3.30pm the cardinals will gather beneath Michelangelo's famous frescoed ceiling and, after having chanted the monophonic Litany of Saints, they will place their hand on the Gospel and swear to observe absolute secrecy before and after the conclave.
Here's a slideshow of this historic moment: Conclave 2013: Cardinals Gather in Sistine Chapel, the World Waits Outside [SLIDESHOW]
1.22pm We're off for a short break. Will be back blogging soon.
1.16pm A job advert offering the position of pope has appeared on the professional networking website LinkedIn and attracted 30 applicants.
The spoof advert appeared on the website offering the role of 266th pope. Desired skills and expertise included being a born leader, celibate, a frequent flyer and a strong public speaker.
Based in the Vatican, the job said it was open to people "from all ethnicities and backgrounds", but "of course" not if the candidate was a woman.
Read more: Conclave 2013: LinkedIn Papal Vacancy Post Attracts 30 Applicants
1.06pm The Vatican has denied press accreditation to the Italian journalist who published leaks of confidential papal documents last.
Gianluigi Nuzzi, who submitted the request on behalf of the private television channel La7, said he received a letter on Monday saying he had been denied without explanation. "This is a choice for obscurantism, far from transparency and press freedom," Gianluigi Nuzzi said on his Twitter account.
Nuzzi published his book "Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI" last year, alleging high intrigue at the heart of the Catholic Church. Vatileaks scandal, as it came to be known, resulted in Benedict's butler Paolo Gabriele being convicted of leaking documents. He was later pardoned by the then Pope.
12.49am French contenders are not among the favourites for the papacy. N
one of the four French cardinals eligible to be elected are on the shortlist: 68-year-old Jean-Pierre Ricard (archbishop of Bordeaux), 62-year-old Philippe Barbarin (archbishop of Lyon), 70-year-old André Vingt-Trois (archbishop of Paris), and 69-year-old Jean-Louis Tauran have few chances of being elected as Pope. "We can't say that the chances the next pope will be French are nil, because there could always be a surprise if the conclave lasts a long time," Odon Vallet, a French religion and Vatican scholar, told FRANCE 24. "I'd say, rather, that the chances are slim -- even if the French cardinals are well respected at the Vatican, since the relationship with the French church started to improve when Jean-Paul II visited France in 1980."
Cardinal Odilo Scherer is one of this election's top contenders, according to AP. He is known for prolific tweeting, appearances on Brazil's most popular late-night talk show and squeezing into the subway for morning commutes.
Brazil's best hope to supply the next pontiff is increasingly being touted as one of the top overall contenders. At the relatively young age of 63, he enthusiastically embraces all new methods for reaching believers, while staying true to a conservative line of Roman Catholic doctrine and hardline positions on social issues such as rejection of same-sex marriage.
Scherer joined Twitter in 2011 and in his second tweet said: "If Jesus preached the gospel today, he would also use print media, radio, TV, the Internet and Twitter. Give Him a chance!" Scherer became the Sao Paulo archbishop in 2007 and was named a cardinal later the same year.
11.54am A sex abuse victims' network has named a "Dirty Dozen" of cardinals who are contenders for the role of next pope.
The list, compiled by Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap) and based on each individual's actions and statements re child abuse and a Church cover-up in the church, includes some frontrunners for the position.
The cardinals on the list have not responded to it. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said: "It is not up to Snap to decide who comes to conclave and who is chosen." Snap's executive director, David Clohessy, said the group had focused on candidates who had the best chances of being nominated pope.
Read more: Conclave 2013: Sex Abuse Victims Name 'Dirty Dozen' Would-be Popes
11.50am A Catholic organization has set up a website, www.popealarm.com, that lets people register to receive a text or email notification when a pope has been selected, AP reports. The text service was set up by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, or FOCUS, and had proven so popular with more than 40,000 respondents that the popealarm website said Monday it was accepting no new registrants.
The site hopes to increase its capacity before the cardinals begin voting, said Jeremy Rivera, spokesman for the Christian campus ministry.
11.40 am Here is a map of the distribution of Catholics around the world. The overwhelming majority is in South America, with 501 millions of people. It follows Europe with 285 millions, Africa (186 millions) and Asia (127 millions). Each square corresponds to one million of Catholics:
11.30 am The Catholic Church is facing further controversy over reports that it has spent €23m (£20m) for a share of an apartment block in Rome that also houses Europe's biggest gay sauna. As cardinals gathered for the conclave to select a new pope, the Vatican faced fresh embarrassment after it emerged that it had paid for up to 20 apartments for priests in the building in 2008.
It is believed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Pope Benedict's former right-hand man, was behind the purchase. The huge stone building also contains the Europa Multiclub Sauna and Gym, which claims on its website to be "the number one gay sauna in Italy".
11.17 am The New York Times has made this stunning infographic of what happens inside the Sistine Chapel once the Vatican official delivers the Extra omnes order ("Everybody out!"):
10.55 am Text of Cardinal Angelo Sodano's homily at Mass that opened Papal Conclave:
Dear Concelebrants, Distinct Authorities, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, "Forever I will sing the mercies of the Lord" is the hymn that resounds once again near the tomb of the Apostle Peter in this important hour of the history of the Holy Church of Christ. These are the words of Psalm 88 that have flowed from our lips to adore, give thanks and beg the Father who is in heaven. "Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo": is the beautiful Latin text that has introduced us into contemplation of the One who always watches over his Church with love, sustaining her on her journey down through the ages, and giving her life through his Holy Spirit. Such an interior attitude is ours today as we wish to offer ourselves with Christ to the Father who is in heaven, to thank him for the loving assistance that he always reserves for the Holy Church, and in particular for the brilliant Pontificate that he granted to us through the life and work of the 265th Successor of Peter, the beloved and venerable Pontiff Benedict XVI, to whom we renew in this moment all of our gratitude. At the same time today, we implore the Lord, that through the pastoral sollicitude of the Cardinal Fathers, He may soon grant another Good Shepherd to his Holy Church. In this hour, faith in the promise of Christ sustains us in the indefectible character of the church. Indeed Jesus said to Peter: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her." (Mt. 16:18). My brothers, the readings of the World of God that we have just heard can help us better understand the mission that Christ has entrusted to Peter and to his successors.
Read the whole text here. 10.50 am Cardinals' procession out of St. Peter's Basilica as Pro Eligendo Pontefice Mass ends 10.43 am
10.35 am Here's the full text of the oath of secrecy that every cardinals must swear before casting the ballot in the Sistine Chapel. It will be administered by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. After he reads it, each cardinal elector will touch the Holy Gospels and "promise, pledge and swear" to uphold the oath.
"We, the Cardinal electors present in this election of the Supreme Pontiff promise, pledge and swear, as individuals and as a group, to observe faithfully and scrupulously the prescriptions contained in the Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Universi Dominici Gregis, published on 22 February 1996. We likewise promise, pledge and swear that whichever of us by divine disposition is elected Roman Pontiff will commit himself faithfully to carrying out the munus Petrinum of Pastor of the Universal Church and will not fail to affirm and defend strenuously the spiritual and temporal rights and the liberty of the Holy See. In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favor to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff.
10.28 am WEDNESDAY AND ONWARD — 7:45 a.m. (0645 GMT): Cardinals travel to the Pauline Chapel. — 8:15 a.m. (0715 GMT): Mass in the Pauline Chapel. — 9:30 a.m. (0830 GMT): Prayer in the Sistine Chapel, voting starts. — 12:30 p.m. (1130 GMT): Cardinals retire to their hotel for lunch. — 4 p.m. (1500 GMT): Cardinals return to the Sistine Chapel. — 4:50 p.m. (1540 GMT): Voting in the Sistine Chapel. — 7:15 p.m. (1815 GMT): Prayer in the Sistine Chapel. — 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT): Cardinals return to their hotel. 10.18 am
10.13 am The last and only English Pope was Nicholas Breakspear, which became Pope Adrian IV in 1154. Just two Britons are Cardinal: Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O'Connor, the emritus Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the disgraced priest who stood down as leader of the Catholic Church of Scotland last month. He has stayed away from the conclave. 10.00 am An influential Catholic bishop, who fought paedophilia and sex abuse in the Church, has given new strength to claims that Pope Benedict XVI resigned over power struggles and infights in Vatican. Monsignor Charles Scicluna, 53, said Benedict stepped down to make way for a stronger pope, able to get a grip of Vatican power struggles. Read more: Pope Conclave 2013: Anti-Paedophile Bishop Blames Vatican Conspiracies for Benedict's Resignation 09.57am Cardinal electors: 60 Europeans (28 Italians), 19 Latin Americans, 14 North Americans, 11 Africans, 10 Asians, 1 from Australia (for Oceania) 09.51am The Sistine Chapel is seen prepared with tables where cardinals will sit when the conclave begins, in a picture released by Osservatore Romano at the Vatican (Reuters)
09.45am UK bookies agreed in identifying the 71-year-old italian Cardinal Angelo Scola as the front runner to replace Benedict. "We have had five or six different favourites since Benedict announced he was going to resign and I won't be surprised to see a new favourite coming up by tomorrow evening, if Cardinals haven't elected a new Pope yet," said Joe Crilly from bookmaker William Hill.
09.35am The elderly mother of Austrian cardinal Cristoph Schoenborn hopes he won't become pope. ""The whole family is afraid that Christoph will be elected pope," Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper. "Then I will not see Christoph ever again because I no longer have the strength to travel to Rome".