March 12, 2013 / 6:48 PM / 4 years ago

Black smoke signals no pope chosen at conclave

1 Min Read

The chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City is seen as cardinals began the conclave in order to elect a successor to Pope Benedict, March 12, 2013.Tony Gentile (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION)

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Black smoke rose from the Vatican's Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, signaling that Roman Catholic cardinals had not elected a new pope in the first vote of their secret conclave.

The black smoke was seen by thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square and means the 115 cardinals will hold a new round of voting on Wednesday morning. They will remain sequestered behind the Vatican's mediaeval walls until they elect a successor to Pope Benedict, who abdicated last month.

When the cardinals agree on a pontiff, white smoke will rise from the makeshift chimney on the chapel roof and the bells of St Peter's basilica will peal.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer

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