Papal Conclave Watched Closely By Benedict As Cardinals Go On ‘Retreat’

The papal conclave at the Vatican is being watched closely by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, or Joseph Ratzinger, who was chosen in 2005 to be the new pope on the second day of the papal conclave. Meanwhile, Vatican spokesmen have said that the cardinals have gone into “a retreat” and that they’re in no rush.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, black smoke rose from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel today, signaling that a new pope has not been elected. The new pope needs two-thirds, or 77 of the votes to win. The cardinals will vote twice in the morning and then twice in the evening until a new Pope is chosen.

The 2005 papal conclave presented some confusion to watchers since the colorization of the black smoke and white smoke was not clearly distinct. The Vatican has promised the new ingredients of the black smoke and white smoke should make identifying the color easier.

Father Thomas Rosica, the Vatican’s deputy press secretary, said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI remains glued to the media coverage from the Vatican for the papal conclave:

“I was with Pope Benedict’s secretary last night. Archbishop Ganswein told us that the Holy Father is watching everything on TV. He watched the mass yesterday morning. He watched the ceremony from the Sistine Chapel… he had his eyes fixed on the chimney.”

Papal conclave spokesman Greg Burke gives us an idea of when the Vatican might release the white smoke:

“They’re lopped off from television and from the newspapers and all the rest and, as of yesterday, the climate has really changed. They’ve gone into, essentially, a retreat. They’re not too worried of getting it over in a day or two days or, as some people have said, getting back by Palm Sunday, but of really choosing the person they believe should lead the Catholic world.”

When do you think the Vatican’s papal conclave might release the white smoke?