By Sandra Birungi
The Papal conclave has convened today as voting for the next Catholic pope begins.
Yesterday, Sunday 3rd March saw Rome hold a service without a pope to lead it after Pope Benedict XVI officially retired last week on Thursday 28th February and retired as the pope emeritus.
Some of the candidates for papacy are Cardinal Angelo Amato from Italy who is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints aged 74,
Cardinal Bishop Philippe Barbarin, 62 from France who is the Archbishop of Lyon. Cardinal-Bishop Francis Arinze from Nigeria aged 80. He is the Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal-Priest Angelo Bagnasco aged 70 from Italy is the Archbishop of Genoa and Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina aged 76; he is the Archbishop of Buenos Aires among others.
There were 208 cardinals expected to be in the conclave but cardinals aged 80 and above were disqualified.
A new expected to be voted before Easter.