NEW ORLEANS - On Tuesday at the Vatican the Catholic Church's 115 cardinals are locking themselves in the room to begin the process of selecting the next pope.
It could be a matter of days when the white smoke rises and the world's Catholics learn the name of their new leader.
Theology professor and director of the Loyola University Institute for Ministry Tom Ryan joined us for some perspective on the process, and the issues confronting the next pope.
The longest papal conclave lasted nearly three years in 1268 to elect Pope Gregory the X.
The shortest was just a few hours in 1503.
The youngest pope elected was John the XII, who was just 18.
Two of the oldest popes were 85 when they were chosen.
Benedict the XVI was 78 when he was elected in 2005.
When the pope is selected, CBS News will interrupt programming on Channel 4 with the news. You can of course also follow it with us on WWLTV.com.