VATICAN CITY (WHNT) – The papal conclave begins today as 115 cardinal electors will choose a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI, and elect the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
Although the conclave is a secretive and withdrawn process, more people than ever have their eyes on The Vatican, waiting on the rare white smoke that signals that the cardinals have selected one of their own to be elevated to the papacy.
With more people than ever watching the conclave, there are more ways than ever to stay updated on the latest information about the process.
Logos Bible Software designed Conclave, a free app that keeps you up to date on the papal election. You can also sign up for an email notification for when the next pope is selected.
Additionally, Conclave hosts bios for all 115 cardinals participating in the conclave, ranked by who is getting the most online “buzz” on NewAdvent.com.
The Catholic website NewAdvent.org calculates the score by using Google Trends to measure how many people search for a particular cardinal by name. At the conclusion of Tuesday’s Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, had the top ranking.
Another online service, PopeAlarm.com, says, “When the smoke goes up, you’ll know what’s going down.” Designed by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, PopeAlarm.com is supposed to send a text or e-mail message when a new pope is selected.
For those looking for a more interactive experience or a way to earn prizes, FantasyConclave.com have what you are looking for.
FantasyConclave.com asks you to choose which cardinal will be elected pope, on which day of the conclave, and what name the pope will take. The website says the prize pool stands at more than $300, though most of the prizes listed are not cash payouts but DVDs, study guides and autographed books.
FantasyConclave.com is free to sign up for and play, there is no betting or risk involved.