Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Smokey Week Ahead

Members of the Vatican Fire Brigade construct the chimney on the top of the Sistine chapel which will emit smoke.
The Conclave begins this Tuesday to elect our next pope which means all 115 Cardinals eligible to vote will be meeting in the Sistine Chapel.  No communication is allowed between those voting and those outside the Chapel...except for one signal: Smoke.

After each vote ballots are burned.  If a two thirds majority is reached and a Pope is successfully elected then white smoke is seen rising from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel.  If the votes needed to elect a pope are not reached during that round of balloting then a chemical is added to the fire and a black smoke emerges.  This tells the rest of the world watching from the outside that the Cardinals have not come to an aggrement.

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