Process to Elect Pope Getting Under Way

March 12, 2013 Updated Mar 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

March 12, 2013 Updated Mar 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM EDT

Rome, Italy (WKBW) - After intense preparation, the cardinals are ready to head into the Sistine Chapel in Rome. All 115 of them will then remain in the chapel until a pope is chosen.

The eyes of more then 1.2 billion Catholics will be looking to Rome, Tuesday. They are focusing on the chapel chimney waiting for white smoke to indicate a new pope has been elected.

Here is what will happen Tuesday. At 6 a.m. eastern time, the cardinals retired to the Vatican hotel to rest. Then, at 9:45 a.m., 3:45 Roman time, they will gather for prayer inside the Vatican Palace. Voting could begin around 11 a.m. eastern time. Anywhere between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. is when we could see our first sign of smoke, indicating a new pope. If a pope is not elected the cardinals will retire for the evening. If someone is voted in, they will take on their roles as pope immediately.

"From America, Brazil and all over. If one of them is elected Pope they don't go home and pack up they're done, they're here," one church officials said.

There are no clear front-runners, only speculation. Two popular Cardinals are Sean O'Malley from Boston and Timothy Dolan from New York. No one will know for sure until they see that white smoke.

Starting Wednesday, the Cardinals can vote up to four times a day. Channel 7 and ABC Network News will be following this process.

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