xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' TheKorro.net: Rome conclave: Cardinals voting again on new Pope

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Rome conclave: Cardinals voting again on new Pope


Black smoke issues from Sistine Chapel chimney

Catholic cardinals meeting at the Vatican have been holding another round of voting to choose a new Pope.

The session in the Sistine Chapel follows two inconclusive rounds on Wednesday morning, and there is no sign of a positive result so far.

Cardinals are meeting for a second day to choose a successor to Pope Benedict, who resigned last month.

The 115 electors are to remain isolated until two-thirds agree a leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

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At the scene

Michael Hirst
BBC News, Rome
A panorama of multi-coloured umbrellas massed on St Peter's Square on Wednesday morning as pilgrims braved tempestuous conditions to take up their smoke-watch vigil.

The faithful huddled in their plastic ponchos - it's been a bumper time for street-hawkers selling plastic sheets and cheap brollies.

Eyes darted between the rust-coloured chimney stack on the Sistine Chapel and the big screens dotted around the square.

Some carrying bedraggled national flags were backing their country's favourites. Some were praying for peace and unity in the Church.

Others still just wished the cardinals would clear out of the Sistine Chapel so they could get a glimpse of Michelangelo's Last Judgement.

The good news: After a third round of voting, smoke billowed from the chimney at 11:38 (10:38 GMT). The bad news: It was black. No Pope. Veteran Vatican watchers urge patience. For chimney-watchers on the square, the vigil goes on.

Ponchos and prayer on St Peter's Square
The cardinals will vote four times daily until a single candidate garners a two-thirds majority.

A successful vote would immediately be followed by white smoke from a chimney on the roof and, soon afterwards, the Latin announcement "Habemus Papam" - we have a Pope.

Black smoke indicates no pope has yet been chosen.

Before the conclave began there was no clear frontrunner to replace Benedict XVI.

The 85-year-old stepped down last month, saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church, which is beset by problems ranging from a worldwide scandal over child sex abuse to allegations of corruption at the Vatican Bank.

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