This is pretty darn exciting. We could have a Pope by next week. Keep the prayers coming for the Cardinals for this momentous decision they face.

Michael Potemra of The Corner reports:

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, says there will be an announcement shortly after 1 p.m. today Eastern time of the date of the conclave. He said that he thought the date was likely to be next Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday — which means there will almost certainly be a new pope by next Friday. (Over the past century, three- or four-day conclaves have been unusual. It’s usually wrapped up by the end of the second full day of voting.)

And then the Swiss Guard will have to get off their barstools and recliners and get back to work. I’d have to imagine that their wives want them out of the house at this point.