White smoke pouring out of the Sistine Chapel chimney signals that a new Pope has been elected. The billowing white smoke began spilling out of the chimney at approximately 7:06 p.m. local time, indicating the Cardinals had reached consensus on a candidate in the second round of balloting Wednesday afternoon, the Vatican Radio informs.
This means that at least two thirds, or 77 of the 115 cardinals gathered in conclave since Tuesday afternoon are united in their support for the candidate who has now become the 265th successor of St Peter.
As the cheering crowds wait eagerly in St Peter’s Square, the new pontiff is changing into the traditional white vestments in what is called the Room of Tears. After that, he returns to the Sistine Chapel where each of the Cardinal electors kneels to offer a sign of homage and obedience to their new Holy Father.
Following that ritual, the new Pope will move to the Pauline Chapel to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Shortly after that, the senior cardinal deacon, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran will appear between the red curtains of the central balcony on St Peter’s Basilica to proclaim the famous Latin words ‘Habemus Papam’, revealing the identity of the new pontiff and the name that he has chosen.
A moment later, the Pope will come out onto that balcony to greet the crowds and to give his first ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing to the city of Rome and to the world.