VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican Friday is expected to announce the date that the cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel to begin voting for a new pope.
The announcement is expected shortly after 1 p..m. EST.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican, told reporters that the cardinals are expected to make the decision early Friday evening in Rome, which is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard time. Father Lombardi, who attends the cardinals meetings and is permitted to give vague summaries to the media, said that the conclave will not begin this weekend. It will start Monday at the earliest and could begin later than that, he said.