BLACK SMOKE: No pope tonight
March 12th, 2013
03:12 PM ET

BLACK SMOKE: No pope tonight

By Laura Smith-Spark, Richard Allen Greene and Dan Rivers, CNN

Rome (CNN) - Black smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel Tuesday night, indicating that cardinals gathered at the Vatican to elect a new pope had not chosen one in the first ballot of their conclave.

The start of the secret election got underway earlier in the day, as the heavy wooden doors to the chapel swung closed on the 115 Roman Catholic cardinals charged with selecting the next pontiff.

The next round of voting will begin Wednesday morning. Results will be revealed by puffs of smoke from the chimney following each ballot.

Black smoke, no pope. White smoke, success.

On a day rich with symbolism, the scarlet-clad cardinals entered the Sistine Chapel in solemn procession, chanting prayers and watched over by the paintings of Renaissance artist Michelangelo.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope

soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    living at the Vatican would be like living at a Dark Ages renaissance faire that never ever ends. also, there's no partying or fun or wenches.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • northern light

      Don't think they are into wenches .....read this ......they have their own little group to play with.


      March 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      Who knew the apartments feature gloryholes in the floor?

      March 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  2. Answer

    What a bunch of losers these papal freaks! Look at them go and pollute the very skies with this ancient barbaric practice of using smoke signals.

    Get some technology and splash it out in the big screen. What a bunch of idiots!

    March 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Right. If only the Pope had a Twitter account.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    i'm pretty sure black smoke means another day of deliberating which choir boy is the smoothest.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm |

    Disappointing day for hindu Lucifer, criminal secular, god of hindu secular self centered human looking mankind, he did not get news to be father today, may be he will have to wait little longer to know birth of his son, god incarnate of hindu secular, filthy self centered MAN KIND, but not human.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • STFU

      Naaaaaaaaawe it was a disappointing day for Moslems around the world, they were waiting for some mosque style KABOOOMMMM and 100 dead breaking news on Al Jazeera; hey Islamic goons, they are Christians, not your kinds, don't even hold your breath.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • My Picture Of Muhammad


      March 13, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  5. Apatheist

    Look at that POS chimney! I saw a headline talking about workers installing it the other day. One would think that the RCC would have a dedicated chimney coated in gold and diamonds for such an occassion...

    March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  6. Don't Inhale

    You think they could afford some good white widow to smoke considering all the cash they scam off of the sheep and their good conections with the Mafia.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  7. Chuckles

    This is all so exciting. I find this fascinating the same way going to a village on the side of the Mekong, or going to a bedouin village in the Negev is. An antique historical ceremony being played out the same way it would have 1000 years ago (albeit with a little more fan fare in this instance).

    Personally, I think the more times they go through this ceremony and the more press it's given, the greater amount of people are going to watch and realize the theatrics and absurdity that goes into something like this.

    I've already spoken with a couple of catholics, one who I live with and another who might as well. Both of them have very little interest in who the next pope is going to be, or even what goes into the decision. This could just be American considering an American will never be a pope until we stop being a super power or it could be because the ceremony shines a light on the most absurd parts of their religion and they're embarrassed. Either way, this ceremony is probably the biggest reason why people should give up religion.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Smug Alert


      March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @ Smug Alert

      ... excellent contribution. You should be an author.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If you live with a Catholic that you are romantically involved with, it is no wonder they have no interest in who the pope will be. They won't like what he has to say about your living arrangements when he is elected.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bill, As hasn't changed in centuries it's not likely to change when the next one is elected. So I presume they already know what the RCC thinks of their arrangement. But good of you to stop by to pass judgement.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      Good for the pope, Bill. When the church stop harboring pedophiles, perhaps they can claim some moral authority. Until then, they are just poorly dressed drag queens

      March 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I have no judgment to pass so I reject you laying that off on me. I just find it no surprise that people are disinterested in value system they have rejected by their behavior but still identify as part of.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So sam's logic is that because there is a measure of corruption within the church that anything goes in Joplin?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Sorry, I was a little unclear. I live with a Catholic and he is romantically involved with another Catholic. I am not romantically involved with either of them. We generally have a pretty open house when it comes to religion and he's never been afraid to air his religion on other matters, like the upcoming Easter holiday or is views on abortion through the lens of catholicism. His apathy towards the election of the next pope has nothing to do with his reticinse to discuss religion with me.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      You don't pass judgement? LOL I thought lying was bad? Oh wait, that's right, lying for Jesus is a good thing right?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. No matter the choice he will be bowing and scraping before them all, right Billy boy.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Hubert


      I think Sam's logic is simply that those who harbor pedophiles have no business speaking on morality to anyone.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      Billy Boy: I think you confuse a "measure of corruption" with a "culture of corruption". What's wrong, did the good father pass you over for that "special" confession? Perhaps if you send your kids or grandkids, they can be blessed in that very special way

      March 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      Billy: Cardinal Mahony sent a confessed molester back to the ministry, where he molested again. Where is this Mahony? At the Vatican, choosing the next pope. Tell us of the moral authority of NAMBLA's Vatican City branch

      March 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • SAAB

      okay, let's all pray lightning God to make sure He does not miss the old house, blowing black smoke from its chimney.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      March 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      March 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  9. SAAB

    I heard lighting missed the target.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Hahahahahahahaha

      SAAB.......heck no.......it's a crying shame!!!!! Hahahahahahaha

      March 13, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  10. Jesus Christ.

    Jesus Christ, will you stop with using my name already?

    March 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  11. Lycidas

    I may not have been around for many of these events but how often in their history have they picked a new Pope on day 1? It would be real news if they actually did elect one on the 2st day but not this.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Benedict XVI was elected in 26 hours and John Paul II in 20

      March 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  12. Who is the Messiah

    Jesus Christ our Lord

    March 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      Perhaps he is yours. He is not everybody's

      March 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Topher

      Sam Stone

      Right now, that is very true. Of course, there's only really two options.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • The truth does not change...

      based on our belief system. He is the great I AM, the Messiah, savior of all mankind

      March 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      It is obvious that Jesus is not everybody's lord.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      "the truth": based on YOUR belief system

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • If he is not your God...

      then who is? There is a void that will be filled by something else...

      March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Topher

      The Bible says you're one of two things — a child of God or a child of wrath. Which are you?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I choose door number 3. I am neither as I am not a child.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Why should anyone who doesn't already accept your assertions care what the bible says?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      @If he is not your God...
      There is no void – that's part of the delusion to keep you from thinking for yourself.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Akira

      Don't know about y'all, but I am a child of the corn.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      Bully for the fvcking bible, slaveboy

      March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gopher apparently believes that because HE believes it, everyone else should. He is a bloviating coward, and as such, a fine represetative of Christian bloggers. Gopher....go fvck yourself, boy

      March 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • JizelleHave

      Every human being is born with a yearning for spiritual connection, a sense to connect with something greater. If this connection is not made with God, it here is a void that is replaced by something else...

      March 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      What a surprise...Topher/Gopher disappeared.

      March 13, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • sam stone

      On another story, in response to my comment, Topher/Gopher said he never claimed that the bible was the Word of God (TM) because he believed it was right. Quoting the bible to those who do not accept the supposed authority of the bible is doing exactly that. He claims to have evidence, but never delivers it. He is a duplicitious coward.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  13. Who is the Most high God

    Jesus Christ.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  14. Who is the creator of all things

    Jesus Christ

    March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  15. Who is Almighty God

    Lord Jesus Christ

    March 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  16. Who is the alpha and the omega


    March 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  17. Who is the meaning of Immanuel

    God with us

    March 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      Why couldn't your god predict his own son's name, or rather, why did he command one name only to be denied, and for the rug rat to be named Jesus?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  18. sam stone

    there would have been another day of papal articles whether or not they elected a new pope

    March 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  19. No Pope

    That would mean another day of papal articles

    March 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  20. I Paint Houses

    Another night of child molestation. Those cardinals do love to party. I heard that a conclave lasted five years before. Think of those misfortunate children.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • I Paint Houses

      I also ate many paint chips as a kid.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Charon

      Another day for jack@sses to make jokes about child molestation.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • I Paint Houses

      Every day is a day to make jokes about Catholics molesting children.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.