Catholic church has new pope; white smoke rises

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Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Catholic church has chosen a new pope.
   
White smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
   
The new pope is expected to appear on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica within an hour, after a church official announces "Habemus Papum" - "We have a pope" - and gives the name of the new pontiff in Latin.
   
The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.

Earlier story:

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The sight of thick black smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel is bringing sighs of disappointment from the thousands of people who've gathered there in the rainy, chilly weather, waiting for news that a new pope has been elected.
   
A Nigerian priest who is studying theology at Holy Cross University in Rome says he's "not happy to see black smoke." But he says, "Maybe it means that the cardinals need to take time," and make sure that they make the right choice.
   
Two votes today, and a vote yesterday on the first day of the conclave, failed to result in the election of a pope. Additional votes are expected later today.
   
A Vatican spokesman notes that only one pope in the past century -- Pope Pius XII -- was elected on the third ballot, and that was on the eve of World War II.
   
The spokesman says, "We don't have any reason to talk about divisions," or about conflicts. The Rev. Federico Lombardi says it simply takes time to reach consensus on who the new pope should be.

Earlier story:

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Black smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning Roman Catholic cardinals have not elected a pope in their second or third rounds of balloting.
   
Cardinals voted twice Wednesday in Michelangelo's famed frescoed chapel after a first vote Tuesday in a conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, who stunned the Catholic world last month by becoming the first pope in 600 years to resign.
   
The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month, throwing the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a manager to clean up a corrupt Vatican bureaucracy as well as a pastor who can revive Catholicism in a time of growing secularism.

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