Thousands of people have gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City as the papal conclave moves into its second day of choosing the next pope. Eyes will be transfixed on the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel awaiting for a decision to be made by 115 Catholic cardinals. The cardinals began the conclave on Tuesday, but black smoke emerged from the chimney, indicating that a pope had not been chosen. White smoke signifies that a decision has been made.
A candidate for the papacy must receive two-thirds of the vote or 77 ballots. Rumors say that the Archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, is the front-runner with between 35 and 40 votes.
The 115 cardinals adhere to a busy schedule each day until a new pope is elected. Here’s a look at what Wednesday’s schedule entails:
5:30 a.m. GMT-6:30 a.m. GMT: Breakfast at St Martha’s House, the residence inside the Vatican walls where the cardinals eat and sleep cut off from the outside world for the duration of the conclave.
6:45 a.m. GMT: Departure for Apostolic Palace.
7:15 a.m. GMT: Mass in the Pauline Chapel.
8:30 a.m. GMT: Prayers and voting in Sistine Chapel.
11:30 a.m. GMT: Departure for St Martha’s.
Midday GMT: Lunch. Smoke is expected at about this time.
3 p.m. GMT: Departure for Sistine Chapel.
3:50 p.m. GMT: Prayers and voting in Sistine Chapel.
6:15 p.m. GMT: Vespers in the Sistine Chapel.
6:30 p.m. GMT: Departure for St Martha’s.
7 p.m. GMT: Dinner. Smoke is expected at about this time.
But until the chimney lets out smoke, the happenings of the conclave will remain in mystery. Will the new pope of the Catholic Church be elected today?