VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The doors of the Sistine Chapel shut on Tuesday, leaving 115 Roman Catholic cardinals inside to start a conclave to elect the next pope.
The cardinals had filed into the chapel praying for divine guidance in their choice of a man to succeed Pope Benedict at one of the most difficult times in the history of their Church.
With the Latin command, "Extra Omnes" (Everyone Out), the master of ceremonies ordered all those not involved in the secret ballot to leave the chapel. The doors were then shut. A few assistants are allowed to stay inside to help but must leave each time the cardinals vote.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Crispian Balmer)
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