The waiting is over – now the WAITING has begun!
We've seen the last of the Cardinals until one of them emerges as pope. Ahead of that here's some facts you may not know to help while away the time until we see the first of the Holy Smoke!
- This is the 25th conclave to be held in the Sistine Chapel
- Cardinals are electing the 266th Pope
- Pope Gregory XIV banned betting on the conclave – under pain of excommunication – in 1591. But canon law was overhauled in 1918 and the ban is no longer in force
- The longest conclave lasted 33 months, starting in 1268. Pope Gregory X was elected
- The shortest took just a few hours, when Julius II was elected in 1503
- The Catholic Church has chosen popes via conclave for about 750 years – the longest-running method of choosing a leader of any institution, according the Election Law Journal
From Becky in Rome