THE VATICAN — With the Latin order "extra omnes" or "everybody out," the massive doors of the Sistine Chapel slammed shut Tuesday afternoon with 115 cardinals inside ready to begin the process to select the next pope.
A little over two hours later, billows of black smoke emerged from the chapel's famous chimney, letting an estimated 10,000 faithful huddled in cold, rainy conditions on St. Peter's Square know that no pope was elected on the one and only ballot held Tuesday.
To become pope, a cardinal needs 77 votes or a two-thirds majority.
One of the best-connected Vatican journalists, Andrea Tornielli of the Vatican Insider, reported that Cardinal Angelo Scola, an Italian who is the Archbishop of Milan, may already have the support of as many as 40 cardinals. Scola is seen as the "reform" candidate, favoured by those who want more openness and accountability at the Vatican.