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Chicago's Cardinal George takes conclave oath

From left, US Cardinals Donald Wuerl, Timothy Dolan, Francis George and Roger 
Mahony exit the North American College to go to the Vatican's Domus Sanctae 
Martae, the Vatican hotel where the cardinals stay during the conclave, in Rome, 
Tuesday March 12, 2013. Cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday to elect the 
next pope amid more upheaval and uncertainty than the Catholic Church has seen 
in decades: There's no front-runner, no indication how long voting will last and no 
sense that a single man has what it takes to fix the many problems. (AP 
Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
From left, US Cardinals Donald Wuerl, Timothy Dolan, Francis George and Roger Mahony exit the North American College to go to the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Martae, the Vatican hotel where the cardinals stay during the conclave, in Rome, Tuesday March 12, 2013. Cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday to elect the next pope amid more upheaval and uncertainty than the Catholic Church has seen in decades: There's no front-runner, no indication how long voting will last and no sense that a single man has what it takes to fix the many problems. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

CHICAGO (AP) — 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.

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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