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Home | About The Process | A Look Back At Pope Benedict

Black Smoke Signals No Decision On First Day Of Papal Conclave

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TWC News: Black Smoke Signals No Decision On First Day Of Papal Conclave
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VATICAN CITY - The first official day of the papal conclave ended Tuesday with a plume of black smoke, indicating cardinals have not reached a decision in naming the Catholic Church's next leader.

The 115 cardinals who will elect a new pope filed into the Sistine Chapel earlier in the day after taking an oath of secrecy.

They will gather again on Wednesday for two votes in the morning and two in the afternoon.

That process will continue each day until a candidate gets 77 votes, a two-thirds majority.

As per tradition, the ballots will be burned after the cardinals vote.

White smoke will come out after a pope has been elected.

Before being locked behind chapel doors Tuesday, cardinals gathered for morning Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.

The dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, delivered the homily and called for unity within the Roman Catholic church.

Speaking on his radio show before going into the conclave, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he looked forward to casting his ballot.

"It's been a beautiful process to please God, while obviously scrupulously keeping the confidence that this process legitimately calls for," said Dolan. "We'll be able to reflect about it publicly afterwards how you just see the gentle movement of the breeze of the holy spirit and the closer you get, the more you get settle in your mind. There's a sense of resignation and conformity with God's plan."

Tourists who spoke with NY1 in Vatican City say they feel lucky to be witnessing history in person.

"It's unfortunate that we can't go inside Saint Peters but we were just talking about that earlier, it's nice to be here when this is happening. It's a once in a lifetime event," said one Vatican City visitor.

"It's a lot different if we would have come on a regular day," said another visitor.

If no pope is chosen by Friday, the cardinals will take Saturday off before voting again. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP