Conclave 2013

Breaking News: Allen caught in Sistine Chapel!



Actually, I was not busted attempting to infiltrate the looming conclave. Instead, I was part of a group of journalists who were given a tour of the Sistine Chapel this morning, where the 115 cardinal electors will begin the business of picking a new pope on Tuesday.

Here, I’m playing Vanna White by showing off the famous stove where the ballots from each round of voting will be burned. Vatican briefing materials say this particular stove was first used in 1939, and the year and month of each conclave it’s witnessed are engraved on the top:

Where does the word “conclave” come from?


In the 13th century the papacy was vacant for a year and a half before the election of Innocent IV and for three and a half years before the installation of Gregory X. In the first case the election was finally forced by the senate and people of Rome, who locked up the cardinals until a pope was chosen in 1243. In the second case, the people of Viterbo in 1271 not only locked the cardinals in, but tore off the roof of the building and put the cardinals on a diet of bread and water. The word “conclave” comes from the Latin, “with a key,” as in locked with a key.

Looking for white smoke? There's an app for that


You just don’t have to be in Rome anymore to know the moment there’s a new pope.

The advent of radio and television allowed people to hear and see the news minutes after the smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel.

And now, of course, there’s an app.

There are actually numerous apps, but one with a simple name is the Conclave mobile app. Created by Logos Bible Software, it offers instant access to the latest developments in Rome to the on-the-go, conclave curious.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017