A conclave of 115 cardinals will gather at the Vatican on Tuesday to choose the next pope.
Among them is retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, who reigned over the Orange and Los Angeles dioceses and was recently rebuked by his successor for his handling of the church’s sex abuse scandal.
Outgoing Pope Benedict XVI is the first pontiff to step down in six centuries. Will the conclave replace him with the first pope from Africa or South America ― two areas that have seen the church’s strongest growth of late? And will the next pontiff be a conservative similar to Benedict XVI or John Paul II, or a liberal?
The Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Los Angeles was open all night
for special prayers and rosaries. And a Mass for guidance was celebrated at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
In Orange County, home to 797,473 Catholics (down more than 3 percent from 2000, according to the 2010 census), similar prayers are underway.
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