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

Black smoke signals no pope chosen at conclave

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. REUTERS/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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