Tag Archives: pope

Black smoke. No Pope.

12 Mar
Black smoke billows from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on March 12.

Black smoke billows from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on March 12.

by Patrick Novecosky

MARCH 12, 2013–Some cheered, but most of the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square groaned when black smoke began to billow out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel this evening at around 7:40 pm local time [2:40 Eastern].

The cardinals’ first vote in the 2013 conclave–as expected–yielded no winner. A two-thirds majority is necessary in order for the future pope to be asked if he accepts the “burden” of the papacy.

“As soon as the cardinals exit the Sistine and get on the mini-buses to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, their residence inside Vatican City,” writes former Vatican reporter John Thavis, “they begin to talk, to reflect on the balloting and, yes, even to promote their candidates to brother cardinals.

“There‚Äôs a reason the conclave generally begins with a single ballot in an evening session. The first ballot, which may find 15 or more cardinals receiving votes, gives the lay of the land, and the cardinals have some numbers to work with as they head off to dinner.”

Tomorrow, the cardinals will move from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Pauline Chapel at 7:45 am where, at 8:15 am, they will celebrate Mass. At 9:30am they will enter the Sistine Chapel, pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and proceed to the voting process. The next smoke signal is expected around noon in Rome [7 am Eastern].

Around noon, they will return to the Domus Sanctae Marthae and, after lunch there, will go back to the Sistine Chapel at 4:00pm where they will pray briefly and resume the voting procedure until 7:00 pm [2 pm Eastern] when the final smoke of the day is expected to rise.

A billion Catholics wait and pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire the 115 elector who will choose the 266th successor of St. Peter.