Cardinals are in the second day of the conclave. They will not be seen or heard from until the next pope is chosen. People around the world continue to wait for a decision.
Monday, the master of ceremonies gave the order to close the doors of the Sistine Chapel beginning the conclave. What exactly goes on behind the doors is a closely-kept secret.
Father Larry Toschi of Our Lady of Guadalupe said, "The word conclave means 'with a key.' They're behind closed doors to avoid a centuries-old situation to avoid any interference from outside pressures."
The end result will be the selection of a new pope.
"When you think of 115 men coming from all over the world, coming to a 2/3 majority that is not immediately that easy so it is an act of prayer and trust and listening to each other and listening to God," said Toschi.
There are several factors considered and qualities expected in the next pope.
Toschi said, "Language has become an important thing because, since John Paul II particularly, the popes have communicated with peoples all over the world in different languages. On a human level, it's a huge administrative level effort in the Catholic Church. Of course, there are many to help him, but he's the one responsible for choosing those whom he trusts and who will guide him. But above all, he is a shepherd to speak and preach to the whole world."
Until the white puff of smoke is seen at the chapel, the world will wait.
"It's maybe like somebody waiting for Christmas to open their gift, we're waiting to see what pope the Holy Spirit will gift us with."
In the past century, a conclave hasn't lasted more than five days. Pope Benedict was elected within two days after four rounds of voting.
For some, hope is riding on a Latin American pope to emerge as Benedict's successor. Latin America is home to an estimated 42 percent of the world's Catholics but, among the 115 cardinal electors, only 19 are Latin Americans. Latin America is harboring hope that a non-Italian pope will be chosen after John Paul II was appointed in 1978.
However, some Latin Americans who gathered in front of the Vatican said it's most important to select someone who will have the best interest of the church. Here in Bakersfield, Father Toschi said the selection of the pope won't be based on geography or nationality.
"If a Hispanic pope or a pope from the Americas were elected, of course we'd be elated as people from any country would feel a natural bond with somebody from their own country. But we realize a person can only be from one country and he's shepherd of all countries."
He said although the Catholic church has the longest history in Europe, and there is a number of European cardinals in the conclave, there is a good possibility the pope could be selected from a non-European country. Although Latin America has the largest population of Catholics, Europe is represented by the most cardinals.