Participants in the Vatican conclave, which shall elect the 266th Pope of Rome, failed to elect a pope in the first round of voting… black smoke rose from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace. When the conclave elects a new First Hierarch of the Roman Catholic Church, the world will know it, for white smoke will emerge from the Sistine Chapel chimney.
115 members of the College of Cardinals are taking part in the conclave. They’ve pledged to adhere to rules for the conclave found in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (The Lord’s Whole Flock), and to not reveal anything connected with the election of the pope. To win election to the Apostolic See, the next pope will have to win the support of at least two-thirds of the cardinal-electors, that is, he must win at least 77 votes in the conclave election.
Despite rain in Rome, a crowd of believers in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican awaited the news of the outcome of the first round of voting, which began after 17.30 CET (09.30 PDT. 12.30 EDT. 16.30 UTC. 20.30 MSK. 03.30 Wednesday AEST) and lasted about two hours.
After voting, the cardinals will serve vespers, then, the “princes of the Church” will go to the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ (St Martha’s House), where they’ll rest until tomorrow morning. On Wednesday, and on all following days, the conclave will hold ballots per day until it elects a new Pope of Rome, but there will only be two burnings of the ballots per day (and, thus, two “smokes” per day)… one in morning, and the other in the evening.
12 March 2013