White Smoke Appears at Vatican
White smoke emerged from a chimney atop the Sistine Chapel and bells pealed in Vatican City Wednesday evening, signaling that a new pope has been chosen to lead the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
The 115 voting members of the College of Cardinals elected a successor to 85-year-old Pope Benedict, who resigned last month saying he did not have the strength to carry out his papal duties.
The candidate had to receive two-thirds of the vote, or 77 ballots, to be chosen to lead the Church.
The cardinals took an initial vote Tuesday. As expected, the first vote did not produce a decision but may have produced a slate of frontrunners. A vote Wednesday morning was also inconclusive.
The 115 scarlet-robed "princes of the church" swore an oath of secrecy requiring, under pain of excommunication, that they would reveal nothing of their deliberations for the duration of the secret conclave.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013