Black smoke emerges from Sistine Chapel chimney


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VATICAN CITY -- Black smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at 7:42 p.m. in Rome, signaling that the cardinals of the Catholic Church had cast their first ballot of the conclave without electing a pope.

The smoke was nearly invisible against the night sky, but well illuminated on Vatican television's "smoke cam," which plays on several Jumbotrons in St. Peter's Square. Tens of thousands of people filled the square, despite light rain, and a group of young South American nuns sang joyful songs of praise and prayer as they waited to see if the cardinals would vote tonight.

Gabe and Gloria Hudock of Peters were in the square with their 13-year-old son Stephen, and were excited to see the smoke, knowing that the first ballot was virtually certain to be indecisive.

"It's definitively black," Ms Hudock said. "Hopefully tomorrow"

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First Published March 12, 2013 6:45 PM


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