Black smoke appears above Sistine Chapel, signaling no new pope

A plume of smoke—by all appearances, black in hue—is arising from a Vatican rooftop at 11:40 a.m. in Rome (6:40 a.m. Boston time). That would suggest the 115 cardinals cloistered in the Sistine Chapel have yet to decide on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

The morning session of the conclave was expected to continue till noon in Rome, so the cardinals appear to have wrapped up earlier than scheduled. They will now take a four-hour break before resuming their prayerful deliberations.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below