Cardinals prepare to cast first ballots for new pope
(NEWSER) – This afternoon, 115 cardinals will file into the frescoed Sistine Chapel singing the "Litany of Saints," a hypnotic Gregorian chant imploring the intercession of saints to help them choose a pope. By 3pm EDT (8pm local time) the first puffs of smoke should make their way out of the chapel's chimney, reports the AP. More important and interesting details as the conclave begins:
- As has been reported ad nauseam, black smoke means no pope, white smoke means pope. The New York Times today reports on how the colors are achieved—sort of: While there's still an element of mystery to the whole thing, it reports that the historical method of adding wet straw to the unsuccessful ballots failed in 1958 after the straw wouldn't catch fire. The Vatican has since turned to chemicals.
Read more at Newser.com