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Conclave 2013 LIVE Coverage: The Most Pope-tastic Live Blog On the Internet

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Pope Francis: Jorge Mario Bergoglio Chooses Completely New Papal Name

New pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 of Argentina, has chosen the papal name, Francis. He is the first ever to choose that name. He is the first Latin American pope in the history of the Church.

Bergoglio may have chosen a first papal name to indicate a willingness to embark on a fresh start, given the Church's troubles with numerous sexual abuse scandals. 

When he was chosen by the College of Cardinals, he was asked, as is customary after the election, "Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?"  

The assumption of special papal names goes back to 533, when Mercurius chose the name John, because of the pagan connotations associated with his birth name.


Habemus Papam! White Smoke Appears On Top Of Sistine Chapel

White smoke is billowing from the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, indicating that the 115 voting members of the College of Cardinals have chosen a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Thousands of members of the faithful rejoiced in St. Peter's Square, huddled together in the the rain as their patience was rewarded with the realization that a new pontiff had been selected shortly after 7 pm Vatican time. 

The Catholic Church is the largest religious institution in the world, boasting some 1.2 billion followers. Although it had been predicted by Cardinal Timothy Dolan that a new pope wouldn't be chosen until Thursday evening, the cardinals managed to select the next pope on just the fifth bailout, reaching the two-thirds majority required for election, or 77 votes. 


Who Will Be the Next Pope? Top 10 Favorites According to Oddsmakers

Place your bets! White smoke has yet to be seen emanating from the chimney at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, which means the College of Cardinals is still dilly-dallying on the matter of electing a new pontiff. Given the lavish treatment the cardinals are receiving, they may be in no hurry to pick a pope. 

Here are the betting odds for the top ten pope favorites, as listed by PaddyPower. All of them are cardinals.

Angelo Scola, Italy, 11/4

Peter Turkson, Ghana, 7/2

Odilo Scherer, Brazil, 5/1

Christoph Schonborn, Austria, 6/1 

Marc Ouelett, Canada, 7/1

Sean O'Malley, U.S., 10/1

Timothy Dolan, U.S., 20/1

Gianfranco Rivasi, Italy, 20/1

Luis Antonio Tagle, Philippines, 20/1

Tarcisio Bertone, Italy, 20/1

Black Smoke: No Pope After First Day Of Voting

Black smoke emanated from St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican as the 115 voting members of the College of Cardinals were unable to muster the necessary two-thirds majority vote of 77 needed to appoint the next Bishop of Rome. Voting will resume tomorrow, and Thursday if need be. If no pope is elected by then, the cardinals will have Friday off to pray and reflect, before gearing up for another three days of deliberation and voting if need be. 

Here's what tomorrow's schedule looks like for the College of Cardinals:

2:45 a.m. EDT: Cardinals travel to the Pauline Chapel.

3:15 a.m. EDT: Mass in the Pauline Chapel.

4:30 a.m. EDT: Prayer in the Sistine Chapel, voting starts.

7:30 a.m. EDT: Cardinals retire to their hotel for lunch.

11 a.m. EDT: Cardinals return to the Sistine Chapel.

11:50 a.m. EDT: Voting in the Sistine Chapel.

2:15 p.m. EDT: Prayer in the Sistine Chapel.

2:30 p.m. EDT: Cardinals return to their hotel.

When in Rome: Vatican Buys Share Of Apartment Block That Houses Europe's Largest Gay Sauna

The Independent is reporting that the Vatican recently spent €23 million (about $30 million) on a chunk of a Rome apartment block that contains Europe's largest gay sauna. Cardinal Ivan Dias, who is participating in the papal conclave to elect the successor of Benedict XVI, has a 12-room apartment mere yards from the ground floor entrance to the  Europa Multiclub. Several priests live there as well.

The UK paper explains the embarrassing situation for Dias:

This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.

The Holy See is still reeling from allegations that the previous pontiff, Benedict XVI, had quit in reaction to the presence of a gay cabal in the curia.


Cardinals Oath Of Secrecy Full Text

"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."

Copyright, Associated Press

Pope Live Stream: Live Coverage Of the Papal Conclave

The 115 voting members of the College of Cardinals are gathering in the Sistine Chapel to cast their first ballots to determine who will replace Benedict XVI as pope. It is the first time since 1415 that a pope has resigned the papacy. This could actually be the most contentious papal conclave since 1268, when the cardinals took 33 months to select a new pope in Gregory X (no relation to Malcolm X). During that election, a mob actually tore the roof off the building the conclave was held in to get the cardinals to hurry up and pick a successor. Hopefully it doesn't come to that on this occasion.  


Papal Conclave Schedule: College of Cardinals Voting Timetable

Below is the schedule for the College of Cardinals over the next three days. A candidate needs to garner 77 of the 115 voters (two-thirds) to be elected pope. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who is at the conclave and said he doesn't expect a selection until Thursday evening.


5-6:45 a.m. EDT: Cardinals attend Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, then return to their Vatican hotel.

10:45 a.m. EDT: Cardinals travel from their hotel to the Apostolic Palace.

11:30 a.m. EDT: Procession from the Pauline Chapel into the Sistine Chapel.

11:45 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT: Each cardinal takes an oath, most likely followed by the first vote. If the vote yields a new pope, white smoke will emerge from the chimney; if not, the smoke will be black.

3 p.m. EDT: Cardinals pray in the Sistine Chapel.

3:30 p.m. EDT: Cardinals return to their hotel.

Wednesday and Beyond

2:45 a.m. EDT: Cardinals travel to the Pauline Chapel.

3:15 a.m. EDT: Mass in the Pauline Chapel.

4:30 a.m. EDT: Prayer in the Sistine Chapel, voting starts.

7:30 a.m. EDT: Cardinals retire to their hotel for lunch.

11 a.m. EDT: Cardinals return to the Sistine Chapel.

11:50 a.m. EDT: Voting in the Sistine Chapel.

2:15 p.m. EDT: Prayer in the Sistine Chapel.

2:30 p.m. EDT: Cardinals return to their hotel.

If no pope is elected within the first three days of voting, they will break for a day of reflection and prayer, upon resuming for another three days and then a break, ad nauseam, until a new pope is selected. 


Dennis Rodman Headed to Vatican City to Hang With New Pope

According to TMZ, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman's "people" have been in contact with Vatican bigwigs in an effort to arrange a meeting with the next head of the Catholic Church. Rodman is scheduled to arrive in Rome on Tuesday night. Asked why exactly he was heading to the Vatican, Rodman replied, "I want to be anywhere in the world that I'm needed ... I want to spread a message of peace and love throughout the world."

Rodman was of course once romantically linked to Madonna, who is no stranger to controversy involving the Catholic Church. 

Rodman is of course coming off a trip to North Korea, where he met with leader Kim Jong-un, and called the communist dictator his "friend." Rodman says he's heading back to North Korea in August for a vacation, making him the only person in recent memory to say such a thing. 



Papal Conclave Vote: Timothy Dolan Expects New Pope Thursday

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City wrote to his priests in New York city in an email confirmed by ABC that he believes the conclave to elect a new pope would take until Thursday evening. The email read in part, 

"My guess is that we'd have a new Successor of St. Peter by Thursday evening, with a hoped-for inaugural Mass on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, the patron of the Church Universal, a holiday, and Father's Day here in Italy."

St. Peter of course, was the first pope in the Church's history, said to be hand-picked by Jesus to carry on his teachings. 

The immediate successor of Benedict XVI is most likely to be a European. Although there was some early speculation that the Church would get its first North American pope in archbishops Sean O'Malley (Boston), Marc Ouelett (Quebec City), or even Dolan himself, odds are pointing to another European pontiff. 



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Conclave 2013 LIVE Coverage: The Most Pope-tastic Live Blog On the Internet

On Tuesday the College of Cardinals will convene in Vatican City in a secret papal conclave to select the next pope of the Catholic Church. No doubt these 117 cardinals are beginning to feel the pressure that comes with selecting the right man to lead the church into the 21st century by advancing 15th century values. This could actually be the most contentious papal conclave since 1268, when the cardinals took 33 months to select a new pope in Gregory X — no relation to Malcolm X. During that election, a mob actually tore the roof off the building the conclave was held in to get the cardinals to hurry. 

So grab a chalice of wine, some holy Communion wafers, and some salsa to dip those cardboard-tasting little crackers in, and follow this former Catholic's running commentary on the 2013 papal conclave. Because if it weren't for me, everyone covering this story would be taking it seriously. 

As head of the Catholic Church, the pope's official job is to sport flamboyant outfits and maintain the church's official policy of exluding women from leadership positions — all while pontificating about the evils of homosexuality.

Front-runners to be the Father of Fathers include: 

Angelo Scola, 71 - Archibishiop of Milan

Pro: From Milan, which inspired the Milano cookie. 

Con: More conservative than Antonin Scalia

Marc Ouelett, 68 - Staff director for the head of the Congregation of Bishops

Pro: From Canada

Con: From Quebec

Odilo Scherer, 63 - Archbishop of Sao Paulo

Pro: Staunch advocate of the bikini wax

Con: Election would discontinue long tradition of not electing people from south of the Equator

Sean O'Malley, 68 - Archbishop of Boston

Pro: Wouldn't take shit from Eurotrash clergymen

Con: Arguably the most uncharismatic cardinal in the entire church, which is saying something

Timothy Dolan, 63 - Archbishop of New York City

Pro: Widely regarded as funnyman

Con: Gave payoffs to pedophile priests thousands of dollars to go away. (No seriously, he did that.)

There is apparently no truth to the rumor that Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina was already elected pope.

There they are. Fine candidates all I'm sure, but ideologically they're about as diverse as a conversation between Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell. It will be interesting to see who the College of Cardinals will choose.

Actually that was a lie. It won't be very interesting at all.

But hopefully this revelation won't prevent you from staying tuned to this live blog on the historic papal conclave to select the next leader of the Vatican's tinpot dictatorship!