Cardinals to Discuss Conclave

March 4, 2013 Updated Mar 4, 2013 at 12:29 AM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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March 4, 2013 Updated Mar 4, 2013 at 12:29 AM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Monday morning, the Catholic Church will take the next step in choosing a new Pontiff.

Catholics around the world are eager to see who the next Pope will be -- and the answer could come soon.

However, while the world watches to see who will replace Pope Benedict, a stunning announcement came from a Cardinal who was accused of sexual misconduct.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien from Britain, who announced his resignation last week, said "there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a Priest, Archbishop and Cardinal."

He won't be attending the Conclave, which begins Monday at 9:30 in the morning. That's when a general assembly of the College of Cardinals convenes to prepare.

John Thavis, the author "The Vatican Diaries," explains "These daily meetings, before they go under lock and key, theoretically are off limits."

The Cardinals will be discussing what they will be looking for in a new Pope.

The top priority is to find someone that is inviting, who will evangelize the Church.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl says "so that's the challenge, and I will be looking for someone who has that vision and that energy."

Cardinals say they will look for someone with a world focus, that can connect with others.

Many believe Pope Benedict's retirement will give the Conclave more freedom in their choice.

Mike Hayes, from the UB Catholic Campus Ministry, explains "Now it also comes into play that if a younger Pope were to come in, they don't have to do it for 30-35 years."

These are some of the issues that the Conclave will vote on twice a day, until they reach a decision.

After preparations, as soon as the Cardinals give the go-ahead, the stove will be installed, to burn the ballots and communicate results.

Black smoke will mean no Pope has been chosen.

White smoke signifies a new leader for the Catholic Church.

The Conclave will have to reach a two-thirds vote to elect the new Pope.

No major announcements about the next Pope are expected Monday or perhaps even this week. However, the Cardinals will start to decide when the Conclave will officially begin.