White smoke signifying the election of a new pope began billowing out of the Sistene Chapel’s chimney just after 7 p.m. local time.
Black smoke again billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday, meaning that Catholic cardinals hadn’t elected a pope on their second or third rounds of balloting.
It is the first day Cardinals of the Catholic Church can elect a new pope. While a pope could be elected on the first ballot, most believe that is highly unlikely.
Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, recalling moments of “joy and light” during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire.