Thousands of people in st. Peter’s square in rome were spellbound to see the color of the first smoke signal. If the smoke is female, a new pope is elected from among the cardinals.
On wednesday and the following days, up to four ballots are scheduled at the conclave – until the 266th day. Successor to petri as head of the church of 1.2 billion catholics has been determined.
In the morning, the electors got in the mood for the conclave with an opening mass in st. Peter’s cathedral. Cardinal dean angelo sodano in his sermon called the puritans and the church to unity: "we are all called to cooperate with the successor of petri, the visible foundation of that unity of the church."
In the afternoon, in a solemn procession, the cardinals from all parts of the world went to the sistine and sang "veni, creator spiritus" (come, creative spirit). Everyone took the oath of secrecy in the sistine chapel, broadcast on television to the whole world.
In the early evening the "extra omnes" – "everybody out" for the escorts – sounded and the conclave began behind closed doors. At 19.42 o’clock smoke rose for the first time from the chimney of the sixtina. The first vote was considered a test election. Six german cardinals are present at the conclave.
"The catholic church will have a new pope by thursday," announced new york archbishop timothy dolan, who himself is considered one of several top candidates. On 19. On the feast of saint joseph, the mass for the solemn inauguration of the new pontiff could be celebrated, dolan wrote to the priests of his archdiocese. Bookmakers also expect a decision for a new pope on wednesday or thursday.
Sodano thanked god "for the shining pontificate he has given us with the life and work of the 265. The cardinals are completely closed off from the outside world during the conclave.". The german pontiff, who was elected on 28 june. After the resignation of the cardinal in february, he expressed "once again all our thanks" on behalf of the cardinals. Several hundred pilgrims followed the fair in front of large screens on petersplatz despite the rain.
The cardinals are completely isolated from the outside world during the conclave. In the sistine chapel, cell phones are forbidden, for safety reasons, stork transmitters have been installed in the floor that has been rebuilt. Also in the guesthouse santa marta, where the cardinals stay, there is no television, no radio, no internet, no telephone and no newspaper. Also in the twitter accounts of the purple bearers there is silence since the morning.
Vatican experts, meanwhile, have narrowed the field of favorites to four cardinals. The quartet continues to be led by the archbishop of milan, angelo scola, and the brazilian archbishop odilo pedro scherer from sao paulo. Opportunities as "outsiders" are attributed to new york archbishop timothy dolan and canadian marc ouellet. The longer the conclave lasts, the better the chances for an aubic rider to be elected. The new pope must be elected with at least 77 votes of the 115 cardinals.
An overwhelming majority of africans believe the time has come for an african pope, according to a poll by the U.S. Network CNN. Africa is ripe for a black pope, say 82 percent of 20,000 telephone respondents, according to CNN. However, only 61 percent think that the world is ready for it as well. Cardinal peter turkson from ghana is considered one of the favorites for petri’s chair, at least in the english betting offices.