This report is coming to you at 7:00 AM Rome time on the first day of the Conclave. For those on the east coast it’s the middle of the night. Yesterday they were putting the final touch on the balcony where the world will get a first look at the newest Vicar of Christ. I have to admit it gave me goose bumps to think I might be here to witness history.
In a few hours the Cardinals will gather for Mass and pray again for guidance from God. Then a little later the order “extra omnes” (all out) is given and everyone not authorized to be in the room must leave.
The Sistine Chapel was swept for electronic listening devices; the cardinals are barred from outside communications, including reading the news; and they must stay together at the Domus Santa Marta, a residence on Vatican grounds.
I can tell you from experience, that if you get anywhere near the Sistine Chapel your cell phone loses service. I have been told there are jamming devices to insure that any bugs that might have been missed won’t work.
Right about the time the east coast of America wakes up the first vote will take place and we’ll get our first look at the famous smoke. I hope you are still praying.