Second day of Papal conclave
Cardinals entered the second day of Papal conclave to elect a new pope at Saint Peter's Basilica on Wednesday.
Tuesday afternoon, 115 cardinals convened at the Basilica to decide on the new spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
When the black smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel late on Tuesday evening, it meant that cardinals failed to elect a new pope in conclave's first voting session.
Cardinals started off the second day of the conclave by holding a mass at the Cappella Paolina.
The conclave is set to reconvene twice on Wednesday, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
Pope Benedict XVI ended his pontificate by resigning on his own will for the first time after 598 years, and The Vatican announced "Seda Vacante" which means the Pope's seat is vacant.
A total of 115 elector-cardinals, all aged under 80, from 48 countries in five continents are set to take part in a series of ballots which continue until one man receives a two-thirds majority, or 77 votes. If there is no winner in the 33rd round, the cardinals may decide to proceed to election by majority, or to take the two names with the largest number of votes in the previous round and decide between them by a majority vote.
When a pope is elected, the ballots are burned immediately. By tradition, the ballots are burned dry to produce white smoke when a pope has been elected; they are burned with damp straw or other chemicals to produce black smoke when the voting has been inconclusive.
Following the white smoke, the senior cardinal deacon will make the announcement for which the Catholic world has been waiting. He will step out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, and say; 'Habemus papam' ("We have a pope") and then will reveal the pope's identity.
The new pope will be led down the Hall of Blessings to the central window of the Basilica of St. Peter's. He will step forward, accept the cheers, and deliver his first greeting to the people in St. Peter's Square.
Amongst the most mentioned cardinals for the position of Pope are Italy's Angelo Scola, Brazil's Odilo Pedro Scherer, Canada's Marc Ouellet, USA's Sean O'Malley and Timothy Dolan.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013