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Sistine Chapel Closes: Cardinals Prepare to Vote on New Pope

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Mar 05, 2013 12:19 PM EST

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The Sistine Chapel is now closed to visitors as they prepare it for the conclave. The AP reported that the conclave is when cardinals from around the globe meet to elect a new pope.

he Sistine Chapel has been closed to visitors as work got under way to prepare it for the conclave, where cardinals from around the world will gather to elect the new pope. The AP reported that the Vatican noted it was waiting for five more cardinals in order to set the date for an election.

"A total of 110 of the 115 voting-age cardinals attended the second day of preparatory meetings to organise the conclave, discuss the problems of the church and get to know one another.

Those heading to Rome included: Egyptian Patriarch Antonios Naguib, and Cardinals Karl Lehmann of Germany, Jean-Baptiste Pham of Vietnam, Kazimierz Nycz of Poland and John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, the Vatican said," reported Reuters.

The Vatical closed at 1pm from visitors on Tuesday March 5. Vatican spokesperson  Federico Lombardi said at a press briefing that there would be 115 cardinals under 80-year-old who will take part in the election, reported The Guardian.

Construction work on the Sistine chapel has also began and before the Vatican can hose all of the cardianls it needs to have a false floor in place to level out the surface and hide anti-bugging devices.

Lombardi said according to the Guardian that they have "no desire to hasten the process," and after the Pope Benedict's resignation the discussinos need to include "discernment and reflection".

On Tuesday morning, 148 cardinals are eligible to vote. Those who are over 80-years-old are ineligible to vote. "Among the subjects raised had been holy see activities, the renewal of the church in the light of Vatican II, and the church and new cultures, said the Vatican. Lombardi said he was unable to comment more specifically about the nature of each discussion," reported The Guardian.

 Earlier this month the Pope announced that he would be resigning on the 28th. During a speech he made, he said the following:

"Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."

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