- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
The conclave to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic church started on Tuesday and at the moment, the cardinals have still not agreed on a new pope.
The 117 cardinals have had three rounds of voting, but black smoke from the chimney at the Sistine Chapel shows that no single candidate has earned two-thirds of the vote. According to The BBC, they plan to have another vote in the afternoon at the Vatican.
The fact that it will take at least two days to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month, has made some Catholics nervous, notes The Associated Press. Many are standing in the chilly weather outside the church, keeping their eyes on the chimney. Some analysts have predicted that this is a sign that we are in for a long conclave. It only took four rounds for Pope Benedict’s election.
“We have not had a conclave over five days since 1831,” the Rev. Thomas Reese told the AP. “So if they are in there over five days, we know they are in trouble; they are having a hard time forming consensus around a particular person.”
While campaigning in the traditional sense is forbidden, cardinals who are considered favorites include Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, Cardinal Odilo Scherer from Brazil and Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston.
UPDATE: CNN is reporting that white smoke is coming from the chimney. The new pope will be introduced soon.