No Pope Yet As Black Smoke Rises From Sistine Chapel

Black smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel today signaling that a new pope has not been elected.

The first day of the conclave was held today in order to pick a new pope to replace Pope Benedict XVI. According to the Newser, the cardinals returned to the Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel for tonight. They will return in the morning for another round of voting.

The NY Times reports that no one really expected a new pope to be chosen after the first ballot. The new pope needs two-thirds, or 77 of the votes to win. The cardinals will vote twice in the morning, then twice in the evening, until a new Pope is chosen.

Pope Benedict XVI shocked his followers last month when he announced that he would be retiring. Now, 115 Roman Catholic cardinals have been tasked with choosing a new pope.

All eyes will be on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel this week as the cardinals vote for the new pope. Black smoke means that the Cardinals have not agreed on a new pope while white smoke signifies that a decision has been made. Last night, black smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel.

The Vatican said in a statement: “This evening at 7:42pm, black smoke rose from the chimney installed on the roof of the Sistine Chapel signalling that the Cardinal electors have not elected a new Pope in the first ballot of the Conclave.”

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, said in a homily this week that he hopes the Lord will choose a “pontiff who will embrace this noble mission with a generous heart.”

Sodano said: “St. Paul teaches that each of us must work to build up the unity of the church. All of us are therefore called to cooperate with the pastors, in particular with the successor of Peter, to obtain that unity of the holy church.”