Holy Smoke

When black smoke billowed from the Sistene Chapel chimney this afternoon, I was watching it live on my smartphone via The Pope App. I read about the app yesterday on Whispers in the Loggia, a very popular Catholic blog. The College of Cardinals cast their first vote today. Starting Wednesday, they will vote four times a day until they choose a pope. They do get a day off on Saturday if they haven’t picked someone by then.

Justin Cardinal Rigali, who now lives in Knoxville, will be featured on Nightline tonight. As a veteran of the 2005 conclave, he can describe what it’s like to be there.

A t-shirt company in Iowa got worldwide attention via an article in the Wall Street Journal. They made shirts with a “Sweet Sistine” bracket that is a March-Madness style take on the conclave.

Vatican-watchers are familiarizing themselves with the first names of the papabile… in Latin. When the new pope is announced, the Latin version of his first name will be revealed a few seconds before his last name and his new papal name. The format for the announcement is as follows:

“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; Habemus Papam. Eminentissimum ac reverndissiumum Dominum, Dominum [First Name] Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem [Last Name]. Qui sibi nomen imposuit [Papal Name].”

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