There’s no smoke without fire. As the Vatican prepares to shut itself away from the outside world completely and elect a new pope, a last mass was held.
115 cardinals have flown in from around the world with the single aim of choosing the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
From whichever continent he comes from, the never-ending stream of crowds to the holy city – and the rest of the wider world – will be wondering what challenges the new pontiff will face.
Euronews met exclusively with Salvatore Rino Fisichella, an Italian archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church and asked him what steps the next Pope will take and what he needs to do going forward.
“The first step has to be the process of evangelisation. He has to bring back the enthusiasm, the freshness of the evangelism together with its radicalism”. And he added, “So, in churches with an old tradition, from Europe or north America, now under the yoke of strong secularism, we should probably focus less on just the scientific advances that we’ve made over time.”
The conclave begins on Tuesday afternoon. The cardinals know the world is watching for the white smoke that signals the decision has been made on the man to lead the church out of one of its most difficult ever periods.
Before the conclave, some cardinals have sent a few last tweets. Communicating with the exterior while the conclave is on is strictly prohibited.
Heavenly Father, guide our hearts and grant us wisdom and strength tomorrow.— Card. Peter Turkson (@TurksonCardinal) 11 mars 2013
Last Tweet before Conclave: May Our Father hear & answer with love & mercy all prayers & sacrifices offered for fruitful outcome. God bless!— Cardinal Napier (@CardinalNapier) 12 mars 2013
Last tweet before moving to Casa Santa Martha, and Mass to Elect a Pope.First Conclave meeting late Tuesday afternoon.Prayers needed.— Cardinal Mahony(@CardinalMahony) 12 mars 2013