Rome (AP) - Cardinals have set Tuesday, March 12th as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope, signaling that they were wrapping up a week of discussions about the problems of the church and who best among them might lead it.
The conclave date was set on Friday afternoon during a vote by the College of Cardinals.
Tuesday will begin with a Mass in the morning in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by the first balloting in the afternoon.
In the past 100 years, no conclave has lasted longer than five days.
There doesn't appear to be a front-runner in this election, and the past week of deliberations has exposed sharp divisions among cardinals about some of the pressing problems facing the church.