Cardinals hold final talks before start of pope vote
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Cardinals will hold a final set of meetings on Monday before they are locked away to choose a new pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church through troubled times.
The conclave triggered by the historic resignation of Benedict XVI will start on Tuesday, with the eyes of the world on the 115 men who must nominate one of their own to take his place.
Vatican watchers say there is no clear favourite, but three names have emerged as frontrunners - Odilo Scherer, the charismatic archbishop of Sao Paulo, Italian conservative Angelo Scola, head of the powerful Milan archdiocese, and Marc Ouellet, a Canadian who holds a senior Vatican position.
"We are all waiting for the upcoming conclave, not only the faithful of the Catholic Church but the whole world is waiting," Ouellet said in a homily in Rome on Sunday.