Black Smoke off Vatican, No Pope Yet

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The smoke was emitted at 11.45am local time and as per tradition it was created through burning of the ballot papers cast by the cardinals during the first vote. The cardinals have since yesterday’s vote been deliberating within the Vatican to possibly come to a consensus and hopefully select a pope during the third ballots.

The cardinals, since taking the oath of secrecy, have been confined from the rest of the world with no access to television or phones. Today the cardinals returned to the Sistine Chapel from Casa Santa Marta where they are residing during this period. The cardinals are said to have had two ballots yesterday morning which turned out inconclusive.

Past conclaves have not gone beyond five days during the past century and most have concluded within 2 or 3 days. In 2005, within a span of 24 hours Pope Benedict XVI had been elected as the pope in 4 ballots.

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