New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan is among the cardinals who will begin selecting the next pope Tuesday. Here's a conclave guide.
What does "conclave" mean?
Originating from the Latin for "with a key," the name refers to the tradition of locking cardinals in the Sistine Chapel during the election.
How long does it take?
This afternoon, the group can hold one ballot. But if no one is elected by the end of the day, four ballots will be held each successive day. The cardinals will suspend voting on Saturday if they still have not chosen a pontiff. To be chosen, a candidate needs a two-thirds majority, or at least 77 votes.
What's the voting like?
Three cardinals count the paper ballots and a two-thirds majority is required to be elected. The ballots are burned in a stove inside the chapel. If the smoke turns black, no decision has been made. White signals a new leader for millions of Catholics.