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Sistine chimney installed as conclave nears

first_imgVATICAN CITY — The Vatican sought Saturday to quash speculation that divisions among cardinals could drag out the conclave to elect the new pope, while preparations for the vote plowed ahead with firefighters installing the Sistine Chapel chimney that will tell the world when a decision has been reached.But the specter of an inconclusive first few rounds of secret balloting remained high, with no clear front-runner heading into Tuesday’s papal election and a long list of cardinals still angling to discuss the church’s problems ahead of the vote.“You don’t have your mind absolutely made up” going into the conclave, U.S. Cardinal Justin Rigali, who participated in the 2005 conclave that elected Benedict XVI, told The Associated Press this week. “You have your impressions.”The Vatican spokesman, however, took pains to stress the “vast,” near-unanimous decision by the 115 cardinal electors to set Tuesday as the conclave start date and noted that no conclave over the past century has dragged on for more than five days.“I think it’s a process that can be carried out in a few days without much difficulty,” spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters.last_img read more

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