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In pictures: Cardinals begin conclave to select a new pope

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Cardinal Peter Turkson (C) of Ghana attends a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013. All cardinals, including those over 80 who will not vote in the conclave, celebrate Mass in St Peter's Basilica to pray for the election of the new pope. The Mass is called "Pro Eligendo Romano Pontefice" ("For the Election of the Roman Pontiff") and is open to the public.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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The red curtain on the central balcony, called the Loggia of the Blessings of Saint Peter's Basilica, where the new pope will appear after being elected in the conclave is seen at the Vatican March 12, 2013. Roman Catholic cardinals gather under the gaze of Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on Tuesday to elect a new pope to tackle the daunting problems facing the 1.2-billion-member Church at one of the most difficult periods in its history.

ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS

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Cardinals attend a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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Cardinals attends a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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Cardinals Odilo Scherer of Brazil leaves after a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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Visitors watch a mass at St. Peter's Basilica shown on a video monitor in Vatican Square attended by cardinals before sequestering themselves in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to elect the next pope at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

Michael Sohn/AP

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Cardinal Angelo Sodano leads mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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Cardinals attend a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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A nun prays while cardinals hold the mass "pro eligendo pontifice" at Saint Peter's Basilica before the Conclave at the Vatican March 12, 2013. Roman Catholic cardinals began their conclave inside the Vatican's Sistine Chapel today to elect a new pope.

ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS

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A Cardinal prays during a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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A cross is seen on a Cardinal cassock during a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS

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Cardinals enter the door of the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave in order to elect a successor to Pope Benedict, in a still image taken from video at the Vatican March 12, 2013. Shut off from the outside world, the 115 cardinals will cast their ballots in a chapel which has Michelangelo's soaring Last Judgment on one wall, and his depiction of the hand of God giving life to Adam above them.

REUTERS TV/REUTERS

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Cardinals enter the door of the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave in order to elect a successor to Pope Benedict, in a still image taken from video at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

REUTERS TV/REUTERS

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Cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave in order to elect a successor to Pope Benedict, in a still image taken from video at the Vatican March 12, 2013.

REUTERS TV/REUTERS

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People watch cardinals assembled in the Sistine Chapel at the start the conclave to elect a new pope on a video monitor in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

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