September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Selection of pope a fairly quick decision

It was a fairly quick decision.

In centuries past, conclaves dragged on for weeks and months, sometimes years. During a 13th-century conclave that stretched for weeks, a leading candidate died.

These days the discussions are much quicker. The pope was chosen in five rounds over two days.

The previous conclave that chose Benedict XVI went four rounds over two days before the Latin announcement rang out across St. Peter’s Square from the basilica’s balcony: “Habemus papam” — We have a pope!

The longest conclave of the last century went on for 14 rounds over five days, and yielded Pius XI — in 1922.