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. Answerman

    @Billy. There is no 'reply' button available while blogging from my cell phone. Thanks for your concern.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  2. Answerman

    Soon, even perhaps after the next election, the United States will led by a president who doesn't believe in Obama and Bush's fairytale hellfire god. Won't that be grand! 🙂

    March 13, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  3. Answerman

    ...good point though, about Christians using fear tactics to control populations. ("Christians" like G. Walker Bush, for example, who scared you with the idea of 10s if thousands of "terrorists" invading America. So scared, Congress voted-in the largest increase in prison funding ever! And told US extra prisons would be needed For the thousands of terrorists G-dubya promised to arrest and drag to justice.
    Of course, by now all have figured-out that those extra prisons weren't built for terrorists. (Suspected terrorists are either shot as suspects, or sent to GITMO)
    Our 160 Homeland Security Prisons were built for crooked Americans, not for suspected international terrorists.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Billy

      There is a reply button dufus.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  4. Answerman

    @copy/paste 40K.
    During the last days of the Jewish religious system, Christian leader apostle Paul recommended all Christians to remain single. Jesus Christ himself aslo warneed "woe to a woman suckling a child" during those end times.
    Many scratched their heads and wondered why these godly men recommended staying single back then just as you question this wisdom today.
    With historical accounts of Jerusalem being sieged for 4 years and then utterly destroyed by pagan Roman armies in the year 70CE, the wisdom behind remaining single during the end times is made clear; towords the end of Rome's siege, Jewish women were boiling their own babies and eating them for food. (according to history as recorded by Josephus)
    A single Christian has but one master, Jesus Christ, and zero children to boil should they become hungry during what Jesus called "the conclusion of this system of things" we currently live under.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  5. Santa Muerte

    Perhaps boil some chicken foot and add a lump of frog bile to make smoke a different color?

    March 13, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  6. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:45 am |

    • ..

      March 13, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  7. I just saw Jesus

    He repo'd my Harley.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    March 13, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • 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 13, 2013 at 1:05 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 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  9. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    Seriously people, is this really something newsworthy? NO! The Catholic Church is becoming little more than a big business that has NOTHING to do with religion any more. There is no god, there was no Jesus, and the Catholic Church is a HUGE scam!

    March 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Jesus lived BUT:

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      March 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What college guru?

      March 13, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Bill, I am amazed you are not in Vatican City taking in the pomp and circu mstance, right up your aisle. Think of all the groveling and ring kissing you are missing out on. Of course in my ignorant state I am leaving out the possibility you are posting from Rome, are you?

      March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  10. clarity

    Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse Cases

    March 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      An estimated 4 to 5 million U.S. public school students may be at risk or become victims of seexual assault by school employees and teachers. Even so, media outlets and public officials remain tight-lipped, cover-up allegations, and fight disclosure.
      Since 2007, over 2,000 separate seexual abuse cases have been filed against U. S. public school employees. This takes into account the relatively small number of cases dismissed outright, dismissed under plea agreement or changed to other charges upon conviction, but does not include the many others that get swept under the rug, covered-up, or never reported at all, according to records kept by the website BadBadTeacher.com.

      Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/290312#ixzz2NQLNJjTQ

      March 13, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll.

      March 13, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  11. Chad is not just a lovely country in Sub-Saharan Africa

    The black smoke is the opium of the Masses.

    March 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  12. Life at Mohammad's House in Pakistan

    Mohammad smell bad, all underpants yellow, no tissue papers in house, no water, Mohammad use hands, Mohammad wash no hands, whole day computi computi, CHI NN, CHI NN, hindu hindu hindu, whole day truth abselut, truth abselut, truth abselut, driving mama crazy, Mama very very mad,

    March 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  13. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Ministry of Silly Hats

    March 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol! Thanks!

      March 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • clarity

      Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse Cases

      March 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  14. northern light

    Is it not odd....black smoke = no pope.....white smoke = pope.....should it not be the other way around given the church paedophile scandals??....most their recent deeds are of a dark and sinister nature.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

      so is essence of hindu Mithra ism racist savior ism, labeled as Christianity, based on hindu Jude criminal secular ism, self center ism, founded on hinduism, racism. A crime against truth absolute GOD and humanity.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • clarity

      There is no Islam or any other religious foundation on the U.S. Constitution you goon dog.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

      Only by hinduism ignorance of hindus blinded by their hindu secular ism, self center ism, kenjer ism.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Al

      It essentially means black is bad, and white is good. People should band together and insist on a black lesbian pope.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Akira

      clarity, this just goes to show how one can rationalize anything into their delusion du jour...

      March 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  15. northern light

    Great stuff.....send 115 old men dressed in red suits into hiding ...and tell them not to come out until they have elected another old man ....who will be dressed in gold robes ....to be the spokesman for a figment of their collective imaginations.....uh is called the roman catholic faith.....and you need a lot of faith to be part of it.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  16. EX catholic

    Where there's Smoke there's Fire and if is Burning is Combustible! The Fire of Hell last Forever. IDOLATERS will NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven though they enter the kingdoms of This World.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Ex Alcoholic

      me Ex too !!

      March 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      looks like ex-cat won't be going to heaven, sorry!

      March 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Satan's can opener

      I see you didn't turn in your credulity with your scapular. Oh, and wipe the foam off your mouth.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  17. Chuckles

    Every conclave I have my fingers crossed that a Symbologist and a se.xy scientist are running around the Vatican on a centuries old scavenger hunt that uncovers the hidden (well... not so hidden) corruption of the church.

    I'm always disappointed.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  18. Angel Moronic

    Why are these cardinal voting at all ? Isn't it is God who does the choosing without any human intervention ?

    March 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  19. Reality

    And the waste of time and money continues!!! The papacy has no historical or theological foundation and as with the RCC, it should be dismissed as having any meaning in the modern world.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  20. The Demon Deacon

    Bill Deacon
    Is irrelevant. Not judgemental, you are such a kidder, make that liar. Your whole religion can't stop telling people how to live their lives, catholic or not. The practice of confession is all about people spilling their guts to some priest who then passes judgement, you are to deluded to see or mind your own business.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You, of course are free to live in as much ignorance as you can subscribe too.

      March 13, 2013 at 9:02 am |
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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.