The Vatican is trying to put an end to speculation that divisions among cardinals could drag out the conclave to elect the new pope.
Preparations for the vote are plowing ahead today, with firefighters installing the Sistine Chapel chimney that will tell the world when a decision has been reached. Elsewhere, officials took steps to definitively end Benedict XVI's pontificate, destroying his fisherman's ring and the personal seals and stamps he used for official papers.
There is no clear front-runner to succeed Benedict and a number of cardinals have been angling for more discussion of the church's problems before a vote.
But, the Vatican spokesman is stressing that the decision to set Tuesday as the start of the conclave was nearly unanimous. And he notes that no conclave over the past century has dragged on for more than five days.
Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.