ROME, Italy (WHAS11) – The College of Cardinals will convene Monday as the men known as princes of the Roman Catholic Church get ready to choose who will become the next pope.
There was a noticeable absence Sunday in Vatican City.
As the clock struck noon, Catholics gathered as usual in St. Peter’s Square.
They were met with a closed window where the pope usually stands.
It was the first Sunday since Pope Benedict resigned from his post.
“I’ve been through another “sede vacante”, but the pope had died. This time, the pope is still in Castel Gandolfo (papal retreat), so it’s a strange feeling,” Italian pilgrim Carla De Petris said.
For the first time in 8 years, the papacy is vacant.
Cardinals from around the world will meet at the Vatican to begin the task of choosing a new pope.
Whenever they begin voting, it will be inside the Sistine Chapel where a stove is being installed to send up smoke signals to reveal results.