The papal conclave opens to elect the successor of Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned as the head of The Roman Catholic Church on February 28. By amending the constitution of the Roman Catholic church, the pope has made it possible for the conclave to be brought forward by 15 days.
Benedict XVI's surprising move marks the first papal abdication since Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415.
The College of Cardinals will remain behind locked doors in the Sistine Chapel until a new pope is elected with two-thirds supermajority vote.
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