This day, a year ago, 12 March 2013. On that day, the conclave to elect the 266th Pope and 265th Successor of St. Peter the Apostle as the Leader of the Universal Church began.
Below is the picture of Monsignor Guido Marini, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, who closed off the Sistine Chapel to the non-participating people, with the famous utterance “Extra Omnes!” (lit. everybody out!)
On the beginning of the 2013 Papal Conclave, there are 207 Cardinals in total, out of which 117 are Cardinal-electors (including Cardinal Walter Kasper who turned 80 during the Sede Vacante) and 90 Cardinal non-electors (over 80)
With the election of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio to the position of the Bishop of Rome, as Pope Francis, the 266th Pope and Bishop of Rome, and with Cardinal Walter Kasper, being already over 80, lost his voting rights in any future Conclave :
The current College of Cardinals as of Thursday, 14 March 2013 consists of 206 Cardinals, out of which 115 are Cardinal-electors, and 91 are Cardinal non-electors.
Habemus Papam! We have a Pope!
Jorge Maria Cardinal Bergoglio, Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who is 76 years old, had been elected the 265th Successor of St. Peter the Apostle, the 266th Pope and Bishop of Rome, on March 2013.
He has taken the name of Francis, and shall henceforth reign as Pope Francis I. The first non-European and first South/Latin American Pope.
Yet another wait as the fourth ballot was not successful to elect a new Pope yet. If the fourth ballot had seen a new Pope elected as in 2005, the smoke would have appeared from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel, and it will be white.
Now we are waiting for the fifth and the last ballot of the day. The smoke will be appearing very soon. Keep on praying!
Here is an image of the seagull that perches itself on top of the famous chimney from where the smoke signal will appear whether the new Pope had been elected or not.
The Holy Spirit? maybe, though I think dove would be an appropriate form, but well, one thing I am sure, that God is watching and inspiring all of His Cardinal-electors through the Holy Spirit!
These are the times to watch the smoke from the Sistine Chapel’s famous chimney.
As mentioned :
1. First and third ballot of the day will only have smoke if the Pope has been elected. This smoke will always be white.
2. Second and fourth ballot of the day will always have smoke, and can either be black or white.
a. Black smoke : no Pope has been elected
b. White smoke : a new Pope has been elected
3. 45 minutes will pass between the white smoke, and the appearance of the Cardinal Protodeacon, who will announce the Habemus Papam, which will reveal the name of the newly elected Pope, then another 15 minutes will likely pass before the new Pope made his appearance.