You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

With Boston’s O’Malley seen as contender, Vatican conclave begins today to select new pope

VATICAN CITY — The first votes are expected to be cast today by the 115 cardinals who are convening in the Sistine Chapel to select a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will be among those attending — and he is considered one of the contenders for the job.

Continue reading below

The process, known as a conclave, is shrouded in mystery and tradition, and defined by periods of prayerful introspection.

The selection of a new pope will be heralded by a plume of white smoke ushering from a stovepipe installed specifically for that purpose.

The voting process could go on for days. But the first vote could most likely be today between 11:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. (4:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Rome). A two-thirds majority, or 77 votes, is needed to be elected. If the vote does not yield a new pope, black smoke will come out of the stovepipe and cardinals will return Wednesday to resume deliberations.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.