Cardinals resume papal deliberations

  • Cardinals resumed their second day of deliberations on Wednesday in the Vatican conclave to elect a new pope after reaching no decision the previous day.

    The 115 cardinal-electors are cordoned off in the Sistine Chapel and a nearby residence until two-thirds agree on a leader.

    Black smoke signalled an inconclusive first vote on Tuesday evening and drew cheers from crowds gathered in St Peter's Square.

    There is no clear frontrunner to replace Pope Benedict XVI.

    The 85-year-old stepped down last month, citing he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church.

    His resignation came at a time when the Church has been hit by scandal over child sex abuse to allegations of corruption at the Vatican Bank.

    The cardinals will vote four times daily until a single candidate has won enough support.

    At that point, the smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel chimney will be white.

    Voting takes place in silence. If a decision is not made after three days, there may be a pause for prayer and discussion for a maximum of one day.