Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope.

Pope Benedict XVI attends a meeting with his cardinals during a farewell ceremony in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace (L'Osservatore Romano / Vatican Pool via Getty Images)

The Vatican press office said the decision was taken during a vote Friday afternoon of the College of Cardinals.

Tuesday will begin with a Mass in the morning, followed by the first balloting in the afternoon.