Vatican offers smoke watcher support

Vatican Spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, Saturday, gave smoke watchers, either in St Peter’s Square, on TV, or the Internet, some broad indications on what times to look for smoke once the Conclave starts on Tuesday afternoon.

Two votes are taken in the morning and another two taken in the afternoon, and when the balloting is unsuccessful, the two morning or two afternoon ballots are burned together, Lombardi explained.

Lombardi said  there is a maximum of two smoke signals a day.

The first smoke signal can be expected about 7am Wednesday (NZ time), then beginning Wednesday, smoke would be expected at about midnight and again about 7am

However, if a pope is elected on the first ballot of the morning (Rome time), the white smoke would billow forth between 10:30pm and 11pm.

If he is elected on the first ballot of the afternoon, the white smoke would be seen between 5:30am and 6am.

After a white smoke signal, it takes about 40-45 minutes before the announcement of the name of the candidate who won.

Before appearing on the traditional balcony, the person must accept the office, change to white vestments and then the cardinals pledge their obedience and pray again.


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