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Black smoke means no pontiff yet

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Black smoke from the copper chimney above the Sistine Chapel has signaled that we do not yet have a new pope.

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - With thousands of faithful huddled in St. Peter's Square, black smoke billowed from the chimney just an hour ago as crowds braved today's rain to await any announcement.

No conclave in modern times has elected a pope on the first day. Some cardinals have warned that given the gravity of the situation, it could take several days to elect the right person.

For the most part, while cardinals will discuss and debate, the heart of the matter is silence, and listening to the voice of God, which will guide the College to elect the right person. To this end, the cardinals have spent much of the day in prayerful contemplation. They will continue to pray as they go about this monumental task.

Tomorrow, the cardinals will return to the Sistine Chapel for anywhere from one to four rounds of voting.

The cardinals are forbidden to share any discussion of what is happening within the conclave. The world's first news will be white smoke from the chimney, which will inspire great rejoicing in St. Peter's Square. After that, the world will wait a bit longer until the new pontiff is presented.

The selection of the next pope is of great importance. The next Holy Father will be required to tackle many challenges including the advances of secularism and atheism, as well as the incidents of abuse and immorality recently uncovered amongst some of the clergy. It will be the pontiff's solemn responsibility to root out and destroy such corruption.

Choosing the man who can accomplish the task with Divine guidance will not be easy, if there is too much noise to listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit.

For now we wait, and pray.

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