Live in the Vatican this morning, the Full College of Cardinals has an audience with Pope Francis. The newly appointed pontiff meets with all of the cardinals who elected him and those over the age of 80 who did not partake in conclave. Senior European Correspondent Jim Bittermann is following the papal developments from Rome.
As Pope Francis takes his place as the leader of the church, he faces a growing sex abuse scandal that has plagued the church in recent years. It’s a problem he inherits and one many are hoping he will address more aggressively than his predecessors.
Anne Barrett Doyle offers more on this view live from Rome. She's the Co-Director of BishopAccountability.org, a watchdog group that serves as the largest library of documented sexual abuse within the church.
Doyle explains her hope in the future of the church now, as well as her doubts about Pope Francis reforming the issue of sexual abuse within the church. “My first concern was that the cardinals chose not to make a statement that clergy sexual abuse would be the next pope's priority,” she says. “They did not choose a cardinal who has dealt extensively with this issue."
Doyle says nothing in Bergoglio's past characterizes him as a "particularly promising leader on this issue,” but she is optimistic. A Catholic who was present in Saint Peter's Square when the white smoke came out, she says she feels profound hope. “We need someone who is gutsy and outspoken,” Doyle says. “Let's hope this particular cardinal, now Pope Francis, has a change and becomes the leader that we desperately need to resolve this issue.”
Today marks the first day of the papacy for Pope Francis, the first Latin American to be elected pope and the first to choose the name Francis. John Allen, CNN Senior Vatican Analyst, and Father Edward Beck, CNN Contributor, are live to Rome to explain what this means for the future of the church.
Allen believes there are three blocs within the cardinals. He believes one bloc wanted “a pope outside of the West,” a second who wanted a pope “who can speak for the aspirations of the world's poor,” and a group of cardinals who “wanted to shake things up in the Vatican.” “So you wrap all that up,” Allen says, “I don’t think it's that hard to figure out how he got to those magic 77 votes that represented two-thirds of this voting bloc.”
Father Edward Beck reflects on the humility of Pope Francis, who may now have to reconcile the humble life he has led so far in Argentina to the pomp and circumstance in Rome. "This is an amazing testimony," Father Beck says. "This is the man who supposedly gave up his palace where he was living, to live in a simple apartment because he wanted to be more of the common person."
Thousands of people were thrilled to see white smoke billow from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel yesterday. Then “the largest bell in the basilica signaled the election of a new pope,” Miguel Marquez reports.
The square quickly filled to capacity as the crowd gathered to witness the new pope greet the people. “Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, becomes Pope Francis,” he introduced himself to the world. “He asked the crowd to pray for his predecessor pope Benedict. Then in a dramatic and touching moment, he asked for silent prayer.”
All eyes are on Sistine Chapel chimney this morning. Millions are watching for a smoke signal from the 115 cardinals voting inside. Chris Cuomo is live in Rome with the latest.
The cardinals' second or third ballots this morning show an inconclusive vote as black smoke billows from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel. A new Holy Father to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics has not yet been selected.
Right now, the world is focusing on a thin copper chimney above the Sistine Chapel. At any moment, it could show white smoke and signal the election of a new pope. Yesterday and earlier this morning, black smoke signaled that the 115 cardinal electors had failed to choose the Catholic Church's next spiritual leader.
After black smoke emerged Wednesday, the cardinals will return for an afternoon voting session beginning at 11amET, and at 12:30pmET all eyes will then be back on the Sistine Chapel chimney, awaiting another smoke signal from the cardinals.
Chris Cuomo sets the scene from Rome on "Early Start" this morning.
History is in the making in Rome, Italy today. Today marks the second day of the papal election. We may see white smoke emerge from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, indicating a new pontiff has been chosen.
Many Americans are making the pilgrimage to Rome to witness the moment live at the Vatican. Miguel Marquez speaks to two American Catholic students on watch for the smoke signal.
Both active in the Catholic church, Nora and Victoria share their feelings about the significance of being present for this conclave.
"It's such an exciting experience and it's part of history, and just to say that I was here for a new election of a new pope is amazing," Nora says.
“It's very important," Victoria says. "The pope is the leader of our church, and he's such a model, so we really need someone who is strong an and who can lead us.”
In Rome today, 115 cardinals from every corner of the earth are preparing to take an oath of secrecy to begin the election process for the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The eyes of the world will soon be on the copper chimney above the Sistine Chapel to see when white smoke signals the selection of a new pope. Inside brews the politics of a monumental race. Miguel Marquez explains the vetting process.
“In the politics of becoming pope there's never been a race quite like this,” Marquez says. The church's problems are enormous. The need for a powerful, unifying pope, have never been greater. “The new pope will have to reinvigorate the church and bring its enormous bureaucracy—the Curia—into the modern world.”
Cardinals in the running “are judged on their intellectual, religious and spiritual heft” as well on their ability to socialize with fellow cardinals and “even their ability to communicate in Italian,” Marquez reports.
As the Cardinals wrap up a special mass at the Vatican for the election of a new pope, “Early Start” is joined by Monsignor Richard Hilgartner, the Head of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat on Divine Worship.
Cardinals from every corner of the earth will take an oath of secrecy to begin the election process for the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Then, the eyes of the world will be on the copper chimney above the Sistine Chapel. While a vote is expected to take place today, it’s all but guaranteed that black smoke will billow instead of white, indicating an inconclusive vote. Monsignor Hilgartner explains the significance of the first ballot and how the voting process works.
Msgr. Hilgartner says the first vote helps to officially establish the names of potential candidates. Prior to today, the cardinals “only talked about broad concepts of issues and concerns. They really don't know who they're voting for until that first ballot is cast and they start to read off the ballots, and they see,” Hilgartner says. “Then they really see the consensus, the sense of the group, and really see what the trends are looking like.”
Today, 115 cardinals from around the world will take an oath of secrecy and begin voting for the next spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. This morning, cardinals are holding a special mass for the election of the Holy Father. It is the final event open to the public featuring those cardinals.
At 10:45aET, they are scheduled to leave their residence at Casa Santa Marta and head to the Pauline Chapel. They will then enter the Sistine Chapel to officially begin the process of conclave as the world awaits their decision.
Chris Cuomo reports live from Rome for CNN's special coverage of the selection of the next pope. Senior CNN Vatican Analyst John Allen and CNN Contributor Father Edward Beck join him with their analysis of today’s proceedings.
Father Beck explains what makes the mass so special. “With all we've been hearing about the politicking of how a pope gets elected, this is the most important part, in that you are coming to the highest form of worship that we have as a Catholic Christian community,” he says.
The Cardinals are expected to take one vote today, though the rules technically do not require them to do so. Allen offers a reason for that expectation.
“The consensus is there is no clear front-runner. The Cardinals don't know where one another stand,” Allen says. “It's the first chance to get a sense of where things actually stand and which candidacy might have legs.”