Black smoke means first conclave vote yields no pope

Posted at 4:42 PM, Mar 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-12 18:39:27-04

(Rome, Italy) – 115 Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church cast their first ballots to elect a new leader Tuesday evening,–but failed to yield a 2/3rds majority for one person.  After that, a burst of black smoke appeared out of the chimney above the Sistine Chapel, where the Cardinals are deliberating their choices.

The black smoke indicates no Pope has been selected.

The Cardinals processed into the Sistine Chapel just after 4:30 PM Rome time, 11:30 am ET.  They took vows of secrecy, placing their hands over a book of the Gospels.

The secret conclave was convened nearly two weeks after 85 year old, Benedict XVI, left the Vatican, after resigning.


The Pope Emeritus cited diminishing strength in body and mind.

Among the Cardinals who will select the next pope is Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, who’s been talked about as a viable candidate for Pope, even though he was only elevated to the College of Cardinals a year ago.  Dolan is President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishosp and is well-respected for his intellect and communication skills.

The Cardinals will resume their work in the Sistine Chapel Wednesday, casting two votes in the morning and two in the afternoon, if necessary.

If white smoke appears in the chimney, that means a new pope has been selected!

PIX 11 is standing by to bring you the latest news from the conclave, when it happens.