The papal conclave process to elect the successor of Pope Benedict XVI has begun at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City with a vow by the participating 115 cardinals to keep secret everything about voting and re-voting until the new pope is elected.
The present papal conclave is the meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect the new Pope. As soon as Pope Benedict XVI
had announced his resignation, cardinals began arriving in Rome. The first of several congregations were held on the morning of Monday 4 to properly organize the event with some pre-conclave deliberations and discussions.
According to the election rules, the next pope will need a two-thirds majority of the cardinals from 51 countries which means a minimum of 77 votes this time. However, the secret conclave may continue for uncertain time for finding a contender to get two-thirds majority.
"May Our Father hear and answer with love and mercy all prayers and sacrifices offered for fruitful outcome. God bless!", read the last tweet of a cardinal before the election process.
As we know, it was on 11 February 2013, Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign from the papacy effective Thursday, 28 February 2013 to become the first pope to step down on his own since Celestine V in 1294.