Cardinals meet in Vatican City ahead of papal conclave

Published On: Mar 11 2013 09:00:44 AM EDT
Cardinals gather at the Vatican Monday
VATICAN CITY -

115 Catholic cardinals are holding their seventh and final general congregation meeting Monday, ahead of the start of the papal conclave.

On Tuesday, they will begin the process of selecting a new pope.

Vatican insiders say one of the main debates among the College of Cardinals during Monday's meeting will be what kind of pope they should select to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Some say the Vatican needs to be cleaned up-- and want a task-master who is tough-minded. Others argue the next pontiff should be a people person who can inspire the faithful. Several cardinals are signed up to speak at Monday's closed-door morning session.

Later on Monday, conclave workers will take an oath of secrecy. They are the only people who will come in contact with the cardinals while they deliberate the fate of the Church.

All of the cardinal-electors will attend a special morning Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday before retreating to the Sistine Chapel for the first vote.