By Samara Martin Ewing
VATICAN CITY (WUSA) - The Sistine Chapel is ready for the 115 cardinals who will select the next pope. The stoves that will burn their ballots producing black or white smoke are in place.
Security has been stepped up throughout St. Peter's Square, including the short bus route that will take the "Princes of the Church" from their private residences to the chapel where they could cast a ballot as early as Tuesday evening.
At age 82, Washington's former Archbishop, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, is too old to vote but he supported Pope Benedict in 2005.
There is still big talk about a possible American pope emerging from this conclave. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York gets the biggest mention. But it is just talk.
Canadian Cardinal Thomas Collins was asked about reports of disagreements among the Cardinals.
"Divisions within? Surely you jest," said Collis. "There are 115 different people."
The robe, hat and shoes in different sizes are ready for the new Pope.
Outside St. Peter's, the balcony is draped with heavy red velvet curtains for the new pontiff to greet his flock of many thousands who will gather below in the square.
Father Tom Rosica, Vatican Press Secretary, said in a Monday news conference, "It is unlikely that there would be white smoke on the first ballot."