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Vatican Prepares for Conclave

Nine of the 117 cardinals who will be taking part in the Vatican Conclave that will elect the next head of the Roman Catholic Church are seen in these file photos
Workers attached a chimney to the Sistine Chapel's roof Friday, as the Vatican prepared for the cardinals to begin their conclave Monday at which they will elect a new pope.

As tradition dictates, the cardinals in the chapel will use smoke signals to indicate if a decision has been reached in the latest ballot. The chimney will billow white smoke if they are successful, black if they fail to choose a new pope.

Also Friday, Vatican staff and clergy, with access to the cardinals, took an oath promising never to divulge anything they hear or see during the conclave. All swore to respect the oath or face excommunication.

Monday, 115 cardinals will go into seclusion and hold one ballot. Subsequently, they will hold four votes daily and remain in seclusion until they elect a successor to Pope John Paul II.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP.