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updated: 3/12/2013 12:59 PM

Chicago's Cardinal George takes conclave oath

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  • Chicago's Cardinal Francis George in Rome this morning before the conclave began.

      Chicago's Cardinal Francis George in Rome this morning before the conclave began.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has taken his oath before the conclave to elect the next pope begins.

George stood in line with the other cardinals in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican on Tuesday. He placed his hand on the Gospel to "promise, pledge and swear" to keep the oath of secrecy. The conclave begins about two weeks after former Pope Benedict XVI stepped down.

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The 75-year-old George is the leader of more than 2 million Roman Catholics in the Chicago area.

His spokeswoman told The Associated Press that he suggested the conclave could be a long affair. George raised the possibility that the cardinals may still be meeting by Saturday. That's when conclave rules require the cardinals to take a break and spend time in prayer before resuming voting.

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