Electing a New Pope: Entering the Conclave

The Blessed John Paul II Shrine opened a new exhibit dedicated to the election of Pope Francis. “Habemus Papam: The Journey from Conclave to Pope,” provides insight into the life of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, and the process which elected him the 266th pope. The exhibit also pays tribute to the historical papacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  

“Our goal is to provide visitors with a unique experience of physically walking through the election of the new pope,” said Patrick Kelly, Executive Director of the Blessed John Paul II Shrine. “The visitor will witness highlights of the great pontificate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, walk through the doors of the Sistine Chapel into Conclave (Entering the Conclave), and proceed into the new pontificate of Pope Francis.” Some highlights of the exhibit are materials from the Conclave as used by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington. Included is his first photo with Pope Francis, extra ballots that were to be used had the Conclave continued, the pen he used to vote, the Conclave schedule, and so much more. Also included in the exhibit are five zucchetti worn by past popes including Benedict XVI, Blessed John Paul II, Paul VI, Pius XII, and Pius XI.

“Pope Francis is continuing the call of Blessed John Paul II in telling us ‘Be not afraid’ to give yourself over completely to the loving mercy of God,” Rev. Gregory Gresko, the Chaplain of the Shrine, stated. “While the pontificate of Pope Francis is just beginning, we know that he, like his predecessors before him, is taking up the cross of Jesus and asking us to do the same, so as to be genuine disciples of Christ.”