VATICAN (CBS) -- The cardinals of the Catholic Church have begun another day of formal meetings to discuss the qualities they are looking for in the next pope. But before they can move on to who they believe can lead the church, they need to know what kind of problems he'll face.
The College of Cardinals arrived at the Vatican this morning for the second day of congregational meetings.
All cardinals will be here today except one, he's coming in tomorrow from china. When they are all assembled, they can set a date to begin the voting process known as the conclave.
But the first sign that the vote could start soon came today when the Vatican announced the Sistine Chapel, where the vote will take place, is closing this afternoon. Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago says, "We would like to be done before holy week starts and have a pope and then go back to our dioceses."
But the cardinals also say they are not going to rush it. They say these meetings are a time to get to know the candidates and discuss the issues facing the church so they can make the right choice. Cardinal George says, "We should be very slow in deliberation, and quick in decision making."
One reason the cardinals are being deliberate in these talks is they want to know what kind of problems the new pope will face after he is presented to the masses in front of St. Peter's square. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington says, "We're beginning now this extraordinary moment in the life of the church."
Monday, the cardinals said questions may come up about an investigation of corruption and leaks within the Vatican. And the church is still dealing with the child abuse scandal. CBS News papal consultant Delia Gallagher says, "The Cardinals have spoken about it openly saying 'yes it's important we have a pope who can manage these scandals.'"
Pope Benedict will only share the investigation report with his successor.
Once the conclave begins, there will be 115 cardinals voting which means it will take 77 votes to reach the two-thirds needed to be elected pope.