Black smoke signals no pope chosen

2013-03-12 20:50
Black smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel meaning that cardinals failed to elect a new pope in the first ballot of their secret conclave. (Vincenzo Pinto, AFP)

Black smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel meaning that cardinals failed to elect a new pope in the first ballot of their secret conclave. (Vincenzo Pinto, AFP)

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Vatican City - Black smoke rose from the Vatican's Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, signalling that Roman Catholic cardinals had not elected a new pope in the first vote of their secret conclave.

The black smoke was seen by thousands of faithful in St Peter's Square and means the 115 cardinals will hold a new round of voting on Wednesday morning. They will remain sequestered behind the Vatican's medieval walls until they elect a successor to Pope Emeritus Benedict, who abdicated last month.

When the cardinals agree on a pontiff, white smoke will rise from the makeshift chimney on the chapel roof and the bells of St Peter's basilica will peal.

The Vatican uses a mixture of potassium perchlorate, anthracene and sulphur to produce black smoke. For white smoke, potassium chlorate, lactose and rosin is used.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  pope francis  |  vatican city  |  religion

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