TODAY   |  March 09, 2013

Vatican official: New pope could be announced by Friday

Greg Burke, the Vatican’s communications adviser, gave a sneak-peek into the way the cardinals will nominate the new pope. Burke said they will look for “somebody who imitates Christ and credibly can give that message to the rest of the world.” TODAY’s Erica Hill interviews Burke.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> world on the vatican and thousands of reporters on the scene, it's a busy time for the folks who work there. among them, the vatican senior communication adviser, greg burke, who joins us this morning. nice to see you.

>> good to see you. good morning.

>> we laid out some of what we can anticipate this week. is there any sense, though, of timing at this point, of when we could have a choice?

>> no, i think kir probably guessed it pretty well. the good by past history, we'd have a good chance by this time next week, perhaps by thursday or friday. in less than a week, there would be a pope. however, you have to remember that the cardinals are free. they've obviously tried to do a lot of their talking beforehand in what are known as general congregations. they had a meeting this morning, they'll have one more monday before they get closed off. they get closed off on tuesday. so it could go on longer. basically, it will start on tuesday with only one vote. so i really don't think we should expect white smoke on tuesday. then after that, there will be two votes, both in the morning, two votes in the afternoon on each day. so logic and past history would be that sometime by maybe friday next week you would have a pope. there's no guarantee of that.

>> what does this pope need in terms of credentials? there's a lot of talk about age, experience, where this pope should be from. are we learning more about what the sort of ideal make-up would be in this case?

>> we certainly are. the pope needs everything. somebody said it needs to be jesus kriefchrist with an mba. that may be taking it a bit too far, but he does need the first part of that. that is the key thing. somebody who imitates christ and credibly also can give the message to the world . after that, i think it depends a lot on where different people are from, what they consider as the key profile. you do need a little bit of everything in the sense that they talk about vatican experience so you know how the operation works here. but all experience as a bishop somewhere out in the world. what part of the world depends, but at least out as a pastor so that if you were only a vatican official for a long time, that probably works against you. if you've only been a pastor out somewhere around the world, that probably works against you, as well. you need a little bit of both.

>> there's been a lot of talk about leaks within the vatican and corruption. how much concern is there that once they are, in fact, locked in, once everybody's -- everybody has been pushed out, that there could be some sort of leak?

>> i think the leaks have come in these days in the general congregations because not this lockdown on the cardinals. they go home, some with v been tweeting. they -- some have been tweeting. they asked the cardinals not to give interviews. there have been various interpretations. some cardinals have continued radio shows , some with tweets, some giving information in different ways. once the lockdown starts, it really is, as we've seen in the past, a very strict lockdown. i think it would be very unlikely at that point we would see leaks coming out.

>> all right. we will all be watching. greg, appreciate your time this morning.