Conclave 2013: How will a new Pope be chosen?

Photo: Associated Press

Thursday marked the final day of Pope Benedict's XVI reign as the head of the Catholic church, and soon, the traditional conclave will gather to select a new Pope.

How, though, will that happen? And how long will it take? The shortest conclave only took a few hours, while the longest one took 3 years to pick a new leader.

Cardinals from around the world will descend on the Vatican and will be locked behind closed doors until they reach a two-thirds vote on a new Pope. Traditionally, the cardinals cast ballots, then burn them.

Later, chemicals were added to the smoke to change its color. Black smoke emitted from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel indicates that a Pope has not yet been chosen. However, when the iconic white smoke begins to rise, it's a signal to the world that they had a new Pope.

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