Conclave 2013: How a new pope is elected

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1. The day begins with morning mass in St Peter's Basilica

2. Some 115 cardinals eligible to vote (they must be under 80-years-old) gather in the Sistine Chapel and take an oath of secrecy

Vatican's Sistine Chapel is ready for the conclave. Credit: ABACA

3. Lots are drawn to select three cardinals who will collect ballot papers. Three more are chosen to check the results

Pilgrims watch the entrance of the Cardinals into the Sistine Chapel on video monitors on St. Peter's Square. Credit: DPA

4. Each voting cardinal writes the name of his favoured candidate on his special ballot paper and folds it in half

A ballot of the conclave is showed at the exhibition 'Lux in Arcana, the Vatican Secret Archives reveals itself' in Rome. Credit: ABACA

5. In order of seniority, cardinals take their ballots to the altar and drop it into a chalice

Plates where the ballots will be deposited during the conclave. Credit: ABACA

6. Results are counted and then read aloud

Crowds waiting outside do not hear what happens within the conclave. Credit: DPA

7. A two thirds majority - at least 77 votes - is required to win the election. If there is no result, another vote is scheduled

The winning candidate needs at least 77 ballot papers in one round of voting. Credit: ABACA

8. The process can repeat a maximum of four times a day until one candidate gets the two thirds majority

Newly-installed tables stand under Michaelangelo's frescoes in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. Credit: ABACA

9. At the end of each vote, all ballots are burned in one of two incinerators - one which gives off black smoke in the case of no result, or white smoke if a new pope has been chosen

Previous conclave furnaces seen in 2005. Credit: ABACA

Now you know how a pope is elected, here's a YouTube guide to becoming a pope yourself: