This week, the Roman Catholic Church’s 115 cardinal electors will convene to select a new leader, following the retirement of Benedict XVI. The papal conclave formally begins the afternoon of Tuesday, March 12, when the cardinals gather in the Sistine Chapel following a morning mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
There will be one round of voting Tuesday afternoon, followed by two every morning and two every afternoon, until one name earns two-thirds of the vote. Twice a day, after the morning and afternoon sessions of the papal conclave, the ballots will be burned in a special stove. Black smoke will indicate that the cardinals have not yet reached a two-thirds majority. White smoke indicates that they have selected a new leader for the world’s Catholics.
Here are some of the American TV outlets where you can watch coverage and get announcements about the papal conclave. Check back for updates and additions as more networks announce coverage.
Diane Sawyer has been, and will continue, anchoring ABC World News from the Vatican during the papal conclave as ABC News continues its coverage entitled “The Papal Conclave: Choosing the New Pope.” ABC News will also provide coverage of the selection process on Good Morning America and Nightline.
When the papal conclave begins on March 12, Diane Sawyer will anchor a special report from the Vatican on ABC. ABC News will broadcast anchored reports to document each vote by the cardinals. Sawyer will be joined in Rome by Terry Moran, Josh Elliott, David Wright, Cokie Roberts, Ron Claiborne, Cecilia Vega, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, John Thavis, Father John Wauck and Sister Clare Pratt.
Special live-streaming coverage of the papal conclave will be available throughout the week on ABCNews.com, GoodMorningAmerica.com, ABC News’ iPad and iPhone apps, ABC affiliate websites and ABC News Mobile properties.
Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper lead CNN’s coverage of the papal conclave live from Rome. Ben Wedeman, Miguel Marquez, Dan Rivers and Becky Anderson report for CNN, along with CNN en Español’s Adriana Hauser and Jose Levy. CNN Vatican analyst John Allen contributes.
CNN.com offers coverage leading up to and during the papal conclave via a section at CNN.com/Pope.
EWTN will feature the opening mass for the papal conclave, presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, at 4:45am ET on March 12, with a replay 7pm ET on March 12. The network will also broadcast the procession of cardinal electors to the Sistine Chapel March 12 at 11am ET, with a replay at 10:30pm ET.
The EWTN team in Rome will feature papal conclave coverage beginning at 1:30pm ET on March 12, with a replay of the coverage at 9pm ET on March 12. Papal conclave coverage on March 13 is at 7am ET and 9am ET.
At 6pm ET on March 12, EWTN will air a documentary called The Conclave – How Is a Pope Elected? This one-hour special is an overview of how a Pope is elected during a conclave, and reviews the first conclave in the 13th century and the different conclaves during the history of the church.
NBC News and MSNBC
In “The Election of the Pope,” NBC News and MSNBC provide coverage of the papal conclave. Throughout the duration of the papal conclave, a team of anchors and correspondents will report from Vatican City for all platforms on air and online. Coverage on the ground will be led by Lester Holt for NBC News and Chris Jansing for MSNBC. Both led the coverage of the papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Contributors across both NBC and MSNBC include Anne Thompson, NBC News correspondent who has covered Vatican transitions and church scandals; NBC News correspondent Keir Simmons; Claudio Lavanga, NBC News Rome bureau chief; George Weigel, NBC News Vatican analyst, Catholic theologian, author and Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Father Robert Barron, author, speaker and theologian, and founder of the global Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and rector/president of Mundelein Seminary; Father John Bartunek, author and ordained Catholic priest based in Rome; and Elizabeth Lev, author and Duquesne University professor of Art History.
Both NBC News and MSNBC will provide special reports each time the ballot papers are burned and smoke rises from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.
NBC News digital properties will also have around-the-clock coverage. NBCNews.com/Vatican offers original reporting and multimedia, while NBCNews.com features a “smoke cam” — live streaming video of the Sistine Chapel chimney available during all hours the papal conclave is in session.
José Díaz-Balart joins a team of reporters at the Vatican to cover the papal conclave. Coverage will continue until the white smoke rises and the new pontiff is chosen.
Díaz-Balart heads the Noticiero Telemundo team, including reporters Vanessa Hauc and Rogelio Mora-Tagle. Correspondents will offer news bulletins and special reports on the morning show Un Nuevo Dia (7am ET), the news magazine Al Rojo Vivo con María Celeste (5pm ET), the Noticiero Telemundo newscast (6:30pm ET) and the weekly opinion and Hispanic affairs show Enfoque con José Díaz-Balart (Sunday at 12pm ET).
Additionally, the Telemundo Station Group will have daily coverage of the papal conclave from its stations in the Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Phoenix, also reporting directly from the Vatican.
Coverage will be streamed at telemundo.com/noticias.
Photo: White smoke signalling the selection of Benedict XVI as pope in April 2005. Credit: Riccardo De Luca/MaxPPP/ZUMAPRESS.com