|Updated: 3/12/2013 3:24 pm
||Published: 3/12/2013 3:22 pm
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict is said to be following the proceedings from home, as cardinals from around the world start the task of choosing his successor. They're locked inside the Sistine Chapel for the first of what may be many votes to select a new pope.
The 115 cardinals, in scarlet robes, recited a Gregorian chant as they filed into the chapel and took their oath of secrecy. There was then a dramatic closing of the chapel's thick double doors, and the conclave began.
The resignation of Benedict last month threw the church into turmoil, and exposed divisions among cardinals wrestling with whether to choose a manager to clean up the Vatican's bureaucracy or a pastor who can inspire Catholics at a time when faith is waning.
Cardinal Angelo Scola of Italy is seen as the favorite among cardinals hoping to shape up the way the Vatican is governed.
Brazil's Odilo Scherer is backed by Vatican-based insiders who want to preserve the status quo.
Other names include Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who heads the Vatican's powerful office for bishops, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the exuberant archbishop of New York.
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