|SEDE VACANTE COAT OF ARMS|
No one can tell at this stage, though some blocs of the Cardinal Electors might have an inkling. But we can't look to them for any comment. But we can look at the Conclaves of the recent past to see how they proceeded in the hope that they might provide us with some sort of a guide.
Let us go back to the beginning of the last Century and examine the record.We list below the name of the Pope elected followed by the number of days the Conclave lasted/ the number of ballots held/ the number of Cardinal Electors:
1903 Pope Saint Pius X 3 days/ 7 Ballots/ 62 Cardinal Electors
1914 Pope Benedict XV 4 days/10 Ballots/ 57 Cardinal Electors
1922 Pope Pius XI 5 days/14 Ballots/ 53 Cardinal Electors
1939 Pope Pius XII 2 days/ 3 Ballots/ 63 Cardinal Electors
1958 Pope John XXIII 4 days/11 Ballots/ 51 Cardinal Electors
1963 Pope Paul VI 3 days/ 6 Ballots/ 80 Cardinal Electors
1978 Pope John Paul I 2 days/ 4 Ballots/111 Cardinal Electors
1978 Pope John Paul II 3 days/ 8 Ballots/111 Cardinal Electors
2005 Pope Benedict XVI 2 days/ 4 Ballots/115 Cardinal Electors
2013 Pope ? ? days/ ? Ballots/117 Cardinal Electors
So, there you are - some "potted" history. Despite the increasing numbers of Cardinal Electors, they have tended to give us some of the shortest Conclaves and the least numbers of ballots.
We pray for the guidance of the Cardinal Electors by the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting to note that the Conclave begins on the Anniversary of the Enthronement of Pope Pius XII 74 years ago in 1939, and on the Feast Of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in the old Calendar.