Local Catholics weigh in on papal conclave - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tri-State Catholics anticipate election of new pope

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Thousands of spectators gathered in Vatican City on Tuesday in hopes of learning who their next pope is, but black smoke later seen from the Sistine Chapel chimney meant no decision had been made.

For about three hours, the 115 Cardinals locked themselves into the chapel for conclave but failed to gain two thirds of the vote needed to elect a new pope. This comes just weeks after Pope Benedict stepped down from his post unexpectedly.

Nearly 1.2 billion Catholics around the world are waiting for white smoke to appear from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.

"Everyone's praying that the cardinals make a wise decision," said local practicing Catholic, Alan Fodor.

Cardinals dressed in scarlet robes filed into the chapel and took their oath of secrecy on Tuesday. Upon the closing of the chapel doors, the conclave began.

"The Holy Father just sets the tone for us as believers of Christ, as followers of Christ, and we're excited to see how that voice comes to pass," said Father Kyle Schnippel of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

But what part of the world will the newest pope come from? The United States has 11 of the 115 votes, second behind only Italy, but never before has an American been elected pope.

"An American, O'Malley from Boston. That'd be something. That'd be awesome," said local Catholic, John Dixon.

However, the decision isn't easy. There's debate among the Cardinals whether the new pope should have a managerial mindset to clean up some of the church's turmoil in recent years or focus his work as a pastor.

"You just need someone that you have faith in that can lead you," said Fodor.

"When he comes out of that balcony, the excitement. I'm getting chills just thinking about it," said Schnippel.

The Cardinals continue the voting Wednesday, two times in the morning, and if no white smoke emerges, they'll vote again two times in the afternoon. The process will continue into Thursday if no decision has been made.

Officials say on average the last nine conclaves have lasted three days.

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