St. Peter’s gets its curtains

Workers install the red curtains that frame the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, where Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran will announce the election of the new Pope and he will be introduced to the world. Copyright CNA 2013. Credit: David Uebbing.

Workers install the red curtains that frame the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, where Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran will announce the election of the new Pope and he will be introduced to the world. Copyright CNA 2013. Credit: David Uebbing.

Red velvet curtains being hung over the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica by workers on a crane caught my eye this morning as I walked to work.

Besides the Sistine Chapel getting its famous chimney on Saturday morning, these curtains are another sign that the Conclave to elect the next Pope is near – tomorrow, in fact.

The final preparations for the Conclave are being made today, and tomorrow afternoon the cardinals will process to the Sistine Chapel, where they will take part in choosing the Church’s future shepherd.

Up until now, most of the preparations have centered on the Conclave itself, but the curtains are one of the first signs of the good news to come.

But how long the Conclave will take and who will be the new Pope is really anyone’s guess at this point.