Nightly News   |  March 02, 2013

Cardinals poised to meet, elect pope

On Monday at the Vatican, Roman Catholic cardinals will take the first steps toward electing a new pope. They'll meet for three hours in the morning and then again in the early evening. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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>>> on monday at the vatican roman catholic cardinals will take the first step toward electing a new pope. they will meet for three hours in the morning and again in the early evening. their main goal is to set a date for the conclave in which they'll vote for the man who will succeed pope benedict xvi . we'll go to the vatican tonight for more. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, lester. the cardinals gather at the vatican this weekend and they're taking every opportunity to meet and talk. much focus is on the news that three cardinals who wrote a secret report to the scandal dubbed vati-leaks are in rome. they are expected to answer questions about the scandal and the general feeling is their answers could influence the papal election . today there are reports that the scandal involved wiretaps on senior vatican officials which is one of the many challenges facing the cardinals left by the former pope benedict . the u.n. secretary general came to defend the pope. he inferred dialogue and tolerance should be part of the papal process. one newspaper reports some cardinals are considering an older man for pope. many experts consider this to be speculation but it is underlined who will be chosen is still as mysterious as the election process itself.