The College of Cardinals has ended its first day of daily meetings in the lead-up to the papal conclave.
Their goal is to have the new pope elected during the next week and officially installed several days later so he can preside over the Holy Week ceremonies, starting with Palm Sunday.
The procedure and deliberations are closely guarded but one French Cardinal spoke a little about what happened.
“It was a brotherly meeting, the first contact today. We spent a lot of time, each one of us, promised on the bible to keep the deliberations secret. So I can’t say very much, thank you,” said Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux.
Others, however, remained firmly tight-lipped but off camera suggested the next pope must be in rude health as well as being a great communicator.
The general congregations are open to all cardinals, whereas only those under 80 can enter the Sistine Chapel and elect a new pope from their own ranks.