Vatican's Black Smoke Means No New Pope Today

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 12 2013 2:47 PM

Vatican's Black Smoke Means First Conclave Vote Failed To Pick a New Pope

Update: And we have ... black smoke. The world will have to wait at least another day before learning who will be the next pope.

*** ***** ***

Advertisement

Original Post: Today's the first day of the Catholic church's conclave to select the next pope. You probably know the drill by now: If someone receives support from two-thirds of this year's voting cardinals (or 77 of the 115 electors), the church will have a new pope and we'll see white smoke billow out from the Vatican's chimney. If no individual garners the necessary votes, we'll see black smoke, and the cardinals will return tomorrow to try again until they've settled on their man. (Most observers, citing history, are predicting we won't see the white smoke until Thursday. But we're dealing with a relatively small sample size, so no one really knows for sure.)

The cardinals are holding only one vote today (the results of which are expected to be announced—via the chimney, and possibly church bells too—sometime early Tuesday afternoon ET). If and when they need to try again tomorrow they'll hold up to four votes a day until someone reaches the 77-vote threshold.

You can follow along with CBS News's Vatican Smoke Cam below, or, for those who prefer reading to watching, you can check out the Guardian's cleverly simple www.istherewhitesmoke.com.

This post was updated with additional information.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.