Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Schrerer attends the Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass at St Peter's Basilica, before they enter the conclave to decide who the next pope will be. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
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VATICAN CITY - Cardinals have filed into the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to elect the next pope amid deep divisions and uncertainty over who will lead the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic church and tend to its many problems.
Led by prelates holding a crucifix and candles, the 115 scarlet-robed cardinals chanted the Litany of Saints, the hypnotic Gregorian chant imploring the intercession of the saints to help them choose the next pope. They then took their places in the chapel frescoed by Michelangelo with scenes of "Creation" and "The Last Judgment."
Benedict XVI's surprise resignation has thrown the church into turmoil and exposed deep divisions among cardinals grappling with whether they need a manager to clean up the Vatican's dysfunctional bureaucracy or a pastor who can inspire Catholics at a time of waning faith.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.