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Four votes set as conclave resumes

Cardinals send up black smoke after no agreement in first poll


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John Paul II

VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- The 115 cardinals taking part in the conclave to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II will convene at the Vatican for the second day on Tuesday with up to four votes scheduled.

Locked away in the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals let it be known that no candidate won their first vote Monday evening, hours after a historic religious ceremony watched around the world.

Beginning Tuesday, a Mass will be held in the cardinals' living quarters each day at 7:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. EDT), and they will assemble in the chapel by 9 a.m. Two votes will take place in the morning and two more in the afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m.

After the votes of the morning and the votes of the afternoon, the ballots are burned in a stove at the Sistine Chapel, with the color of the smoke announcing to observers outside whether a pope has been elected.

The ballots from the morning votes will probably be burned about noon, and the ballots from the afternoon will go up in smoke around 7 p.m., Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.

As black smoke billowed Monday from a chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, the crowd of thousands outside cheered. (Full story)

"It was very exciting," said Richard Wall, an American in the crowd. "We had some drama tonight."

At first, the smoke's color appeared gray -- and some thought it may have been white, which would signal that a new pontiff was chosen. But it quickly turned black. Also, John Paul II had decreed that white smoke be accompanied by the ringing of bells, to avoid a repeat of the confusion after his election in 1978.

The smoke, shown live on TV networks around the world, was emitted shortly after 8 p.m., about two-and-a-half hours after the chapel's doors were closed, marking the beginning of the conclave.

The closing of those large wooden doors ended an hour-long ritual that the Vatican televised live for the first time ever.

Oath of secrecy

Clad in crimson robes, shoulder capes and hats, the 115 cardinals from 52 countries walked from the Hall of Blessings into the Sistine Chapel as "The Litany of Saints" was sung.

Once the cardinals were inside, a choir and the cardinals themselves sang the invocation of the Holy Spirit, "Veni, Creator Spiritus."

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is dean of the College of Cardinals and is considered a leading candidate for pope, recited a prayer and a message that included these words: "After having celebrated the divine mysteries, we now enter into conclave to elect the Roman pontiff, the whole church united with us in prayer."

Ratzinger led the group in an oath of secrecy, and each cardinal individually stepped up to a Book of Gospels, placed his hand on it and took another similar oath.

The cardinals also vowed to follow the rules listed by Pope John Paul II in the "Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis," which laid out specific steps for the electoral process, including seclusion "in suitable places" within the Vatican and the use of secret ballots.

At the end, the master of the Pontifical Liturgical Celebration said "extra omnes" -- meaning "everyone out" -- signaling those not participating in the conclave to leave the Sistine Chapel. He then closed the doors, and the televised broadcast came to an end.

The cardinals then had a private meditation and one of them gave a speech before the ballots were handed out.

If the Vatican's plans succeed, there will be no indication of how the deliberations proceed, or who may be surfacing as leading "papabile," or candidates, before a new pontiff is selected.

The term conclave means "with a key" -- meaning the process takes place behind lock and key.

To win, a candidate needs two-thirds of the votes. If three days pass with no pope chosen, the cardinals will take a day of reflection and prayer before resuming balloting. And, under rules established by John Paul II, if no one has the required two-thirds majority after about 12 days, the cardinals can switch to a simple majority.

Speculation rife

There has been a great deal of speculation about who may be chosen to succeed John Paul II, who died April 2 at the age of 84, but cardinals have been mum.

Some taking part in the conclave said they are looking for a leader who presents a hopeful vision, who can "generate some dynamism and some optimism within Catholicism," CNN Vatican analyst John Allen said.

The first clues to the process of finding a successor were sought during the homily or sermon delivered by Ratzinger at Monday's public Mass.

"Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism," Ratzinger said.

Allen said Ratzinger delivered a "very blunt" message for the church to "stay true to itself."

That was a strong indication that Ratzinger, 78, wants a "traditionalist" elected the next pope, Allen said.

John Paul was widely credited with extending the reach of the papacy. He spoke more than a dozen languages and set an unprecedented pattern of pastoral travel, drawing huge crowds all over the world.

He was also strictly traditional on issues of sexuality and the role of women in the church, which won him support among some Catholics but alienated others. Similar disagreement exists over the next pontiff's stances on issues such as birth control, stem cell research and the ordination of female priests.

The conclave will select the man who will be the 265th pontiff, although he will be the 263rd person to hold the post. One man, Benedict IX, served as pontiff three separate times nearly a millennium ago.


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