New pope to be elected by Thursday: Catholic church

Kochi, March 12 (IANS) The Catholic Church in Kerala expects that the new pope would be elected by Thursday morning, a church official said Tuesday.

Father Paul Thelekkat, spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, told IANS that by around 2.30 p.m. IST Tuesday, the process for electing the new pope would begin at the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican.

The electors will then move to the Sistine Chapel at 4.30 p.m.

"Today (Tuesday) there will be one round of voting and tomorrow there will be four rounds of voting. Either tomorrow or latest Thursday morning our time, the next pope would be elected," said Thelekkat.

The electoral college consists of 115 cardinals who can be elected as the pope.

The election follows the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last month.

"There are 10 cardinals from Asia, of which five are from India with two from Kerala," added Thelekkat.

In Kerala, the Catholic church consists of the Syro Malabar, Syro Malankara and the Latin churches, of which the first two have one cardinal each.


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