Today the Cardinals gathered, had some snacks: coffee, tea and both sweet and savory snacks.
They had a little worship service and then someone made the suggestion that they should arrange the chairs in a circle, which they did. That took a lot of time because the guys are pretty old and the chairs are pretty heavy. There was an attempt to have two concentric circles because people could be closer, which would help because some of the guys don't hear so well. That idea didn't go over very well, although there was a suggestion that the inner circle be the cardinals from Africa, Latin America and Asia, and the Europeans on the outer circle. That really didn't go over well. So they finally made one big circle by everybody pushing their chairs back. Once that was done, some of the guys couldn't hear so well, so it was agreed that they would MIC Check all the proceedings in Latin so that everybody could hear well. It promises to be a long conclave.
Then everybody checked in. Or started to; they only got about a third of the way around the circle. So that's what coming tomorrow.
One of the things holding it up is that they decided that it was disrespectful to leave check-in to go to the bathroom, so the group is scheduling bio breaks as needed when a group of elderly men have gathered together. Tomorrow's communion will include Flo-max.
After the check-in, there will be a discussion in which everyone shares what they hope to get out of the conclave.
Then, a brainstorming about what qualities each of them would like to see in the next Holy Father. Qualities desired by any of the assembled princes of the church will be written on large sheets of newsprint and taped to the wall, assuming that they can find appropriate tape. Otherwise, they will be spread on the floor. The qualities will be listed in Latin.
Once all the hopes for the future Pope have been solicited, each Cardinal will be given several colored sticker dots and they can go around and put them next to the qualities that they feel are most important. This will be done in silence, although it is going to be allowed that questions about the Latin translation can be asked in the case of confusion.
After that, the prelates will retire in silence and prayer as a committee of volunteers tabulates the result. The top ten qualities will then be reduced to seven, and to five, and then to three through a repetition of the process.
At that point, which may weeks from now, there will be a day set aside for touch groups for people to process in a small group how comfortable they are with the process up to now. A day is set aside, also, for cardinals who are uncomfortable will have a chance to address the whole group with their concern.
After that, a time has been set aside for the holy funeral mass of any cardinals who might have died so far in the conclave.
After that, the group will consider the promptings of the Holy Spirit as to how to proceed.
When there is news of the next steps, you will read it here first.