Black Smoke Signals No New Pope

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LANSING (WILX)-- Thick black smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel's chimney Tuesday night, signaling no pope was elected at the first conclave vote.

Catholics and others around the around the world are waiting for the white smoke, the sign that a new pope has been chosen.

"This is more than just an exciting time in my opinion. This is an exciting time for anyone who has faith in God, who is watching an event that will impact for years to come," said Lansing Catholic Kristin Smith.

Whoever is chosen will have a heavy burden to bare. Many are hoping the new pope will bring enough change to lead people back to the faith after millions world-wide have left in the past generation.

"We need to get them to come home. I think we'll probably see a pope that holds that new evangelism just as high in regard," said Diocese member Michael Diebold.

Change is a big possibility with two American cardinals being considered.

"Cardinal O'Malley the Arch Bishop of Boston, and Cardinal Dolan the Arch Bishop of New York. When you see a list of possible contenders those names are right up there on that list," said Diebold.

"If it happens to be an American obviously he is going to bring a different flavor the papacy has never known. But at the same time he is not anything more than a man," said St. Mary's Father John Linden

In lansing many Catholics and Christians a like are enthusiastic of the idea of an American Pope.

"Thinking about it is very exciting. Historically they have always been Europeans. But I think the two for runners we're looking at for me bring a lot of hope," said Lansing Catholic Ligia Romero.

There are high hopes that pope will be chosen some time this week. In the recent past the pope has been chosen between 2-4 days.

The cardinals will stay locked in the Sistine Chapel until a new pope is chosen. A full day of voting includes the casting of ballots four times a day: twice in the morning and twice in the evening.

After the cardinals choose the next pope, he will usually go into what's known as the "crying room" to collect his thoughts. Then he'll acknowledge the crowd gathered at the Vatican.

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