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March 21, 2023

Black smoke signals no decision on Pope

Black smoke has issued from the Sistine Chapel in Rome on Wednesday morning, signaling that the second and third votes in the Papal election have been inconclusive, the BBC reports. Cardinals have been meeting for a second day to choose a successor to Pope Benedict, who resigned last month. The 115 electors are shut off in the Sistine Chapel and a nearby residence until two-thirds agree on a leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Further votes were due to be held later yesterday. The cardinals were expected to vote four times daily until a single candidate garners a two-thirds majority. A successful vote would immediately be followed by white smoke and, soon afterwards, the Latin announcement “Habemus Papam” – we have a Pope.Before the conclave began there was no clear frontrunner to replace Benedict XVI.  The 85-year-old stepped down last month, saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church, which is beset by problems ranging from a worldwide scandal over child sex abuse to allegations of corruption at the Vatican Bank.

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