Black smoke issues from Sistine Chapel chimneyThe cardinals will keep voting until a new Pope is chosen

Black smoke has issued from the Sistine Chapel in Rome, signalling that the second and third votes in the Papal election have been inconclusive.

Cardinals have been meeting for a second day to choose a successor to Pope Benedict, who resigned last month.

The 115 electors are shut off in the Sistine Chapel and a nearby residence until two-thirds agree on a leader for the world’s 1.2bn Catholics.

Further votes will be held on Wednesday afternoon.

The cardinals will vote four times daily until a single candidate garners a two-thirds majority, at which point the smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel chimney will be white.

Before the conclave began there was no clear frontrunner to replace Pope Benedict.

Conclave interactive video

Philippa Thomas presenting conclave interactive video

Step inside our virtual Sistine Chapel as Philippa Thomas explains the process to elect a new Pope

The 85-year-old stepped down last month, saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church, which is beset by problems ranging from a worldwide scandal over child sex abuse to allegations of corruption at the Vatican Bank.

Voting takes place in silence, with no formal debate, until a decision is reached. If that does not happen after three days, there may be a pause for prayer and informal discussion for a maximum of one day.

Crowds waiting for a result once again braved rainy conditions in St Peters’ Square to watch out for smoke issuing from the chimney.

After lunch, the cardinals will return to the Sistine Chapel to resume their deliberations.

Rome conclave: black smoke signals deadlock over Pope – BBC News
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