The Papal Succession Benedict XVI's papacy ended in February. The task of choosing the next pope falls to 115 red-robed cardinals known as the "princes" of the Catholic Church. Here, NPR's coverage of the selection of the next pope.
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The Papal Succession

Here, NPR's coverage of the selection of a new pope to replace Benedict XVI.

The San Lorenzo football club is very excited to have "Papa Crow" on its side. Web image of San Lorenzo club's website hide caption

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Web image of San Lorenzo club's website

From 'Morning Edition': Correspondent Hugh Bronstein

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The newly elected Pope Francis appears on the main balcony of St Peter's Basilica. His name was chosen after St. Francis of Assisi, the Vatican says. L'Osservatore Romano/Getty Images hide caption

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L'Osservatore Romano/Getty Images

Crowds at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican celebrate Wednesday after seeing white smoke billow from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of a new pope. The new pontiff, Francis, is the first from Latin America, a reflection that the Catholic Church is now strongest in the Southern Hemisphere. Oded Balilty/AP hide caption

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Oded Balilty/AP

After Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th pontiff, he chose the name Pope Francis. His installation Mass could come early next week. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Faithful react after the announcement that Buenos Aires archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I, at Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires on Wednesday. Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis as he waved to the crowd in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Black smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at midday Wednesday in Vatican City. That means the cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope. Pool/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Pool/Reuters /Landov

Pope John II, whose name at birth was Mercurius. When he became pope in 533 he changed his name — starting a tradition that continues. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As the black smoke rose from the Vatican chimney Tuesday, some of the nuns and others gathered in St. Peter's Square were singing. Eric Gaillard/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Eric Gaillard/Reuters /Landov

Cardinals gathered in Vatican City on Monday, a day before the papal selection process known as the conclave begins. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Roman Catholic cardinals have been meeting at the Vatican to get to know each other better and to set a date for the start of the conclave that will choose the next pope. On Thursday, this cardinal was walking to one of those meetings. Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images