Catholic cardinals gathered Tuesday before they retired behind the closed doors of the Sistine Chapel. The process of selecting who will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics took place, with black smoke indicating that they have not yet selected the new Pope.
Because the cardinals could not come to an agreement Tuesday, puffs of black smoke were seen from the chapel's chimney- the black smoke signaled a failed vote, and eventually, white smoke will signal that a pope has been chosen. All of the cardinal's ballots are destroyed to maintain the integrity of the conclave.
Italy has the largest portion of cardinals within the conclave with 28. The United States is second with 11 in the College of Cardinals. For this conclave, there are 48 countries represented, which is among the most diverse in history. more >>
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman said he is trying to get in touch with cardinals at the Vatican in order to secure a meeting with the next person chosen to fill the seat made vacant by Pope Benedict XVI.
In what many will describe as another strange move by the controversial sports star, Rodman told TMZ that "his people" are in Rome trying to speak with officials from the Vatican to arrange a future meeting with the next pope. Rodman himself is expected to arrive in Rome on Tuesday.
"I want to be anywhere in the world that I'm needed ... I want to spread a message of peace and love throughout the world," Rodman said about his purpose in trying to speak with the next man to be elected as leader of the Roman Catholic Church. more >>
As the College of Cardinals continues to determine the next bishop of Rome, some are looking toward the prophecies of Michel de Nostredame as indicators that the church leaders will be electing the last pope.
According to believers in Nostredame, whose latinized name is Nostradamus, the 16th century French physician and soothsayer, wrote that the second to last pope would "flee Rome in December when the great comet is seen in the daytime."
According to Carol Grisanti of NBC News, this astronomical phenomenon can be connected to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. more >>
Gambling on the next pope of the Roman Catholic Church is on track to draw millions of dollars in bets and become the biggest non-sporting event in the history of Ireland's leading bookmaker Paddy Power, which said on Wednesday that America's Cardinal Sean O'Malley is now a "serious contender" for the papacy.
In an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday, Paddy Power spokesman Rory Scott said even with stiff competition from the royal wedding and the expected royal baby from Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, pope betting is on track to set a record for betting on non-sporting event.
"We'd be comfortable saying it's a million dollar market and certainly it's on track to be the biggest non-sporting event in Paddy Power's history," said Scott. "I think pope betting has really captured people's imagination," he added. more >>
A group of survivors of sexual abuse by clergy have identified 12 cardinals who are currently a candidate for pope in the Roman Catholic Church that have the worst history when it comes to responding to child sex abuse claims.
SNAP, the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, told media on Wednesday that it was basing its list on news reports, legal filings and victims' statements.
"The single quickest and most effective step would be for the next pope to clearly discipline, demote, denounce and even defrock cardinals and bishops who are concealing child sex crimes. We think that's the missing piece," said SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy. more >>
Nearly six in ten American Catholics believe it would be a good thing for the Catholic Church if the next pope allows priests to get married, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in February.
The study, which examined the attitudes of American Catholics as they look forward to welcoming a new pope, showed overall that Catholics were divided on the direction they would like their new leader to take the church. Just over half, 51 percent, of American Catholics feel that the new pope should maintain the church's current traditions, while 46 percent feel the church should go in a new direction.
Among traditions that Catholics would like to see retired is the required vow of celibacy for priesthood. According to the study, approximately six-in-ten, or 58 percent, of Catholics say it would be a good thing for the Catholic Church if priests are allowed to marry if they wish to do so. Some 35 percent of Catholics say it is a bad idea. The majority of Catholics supporting the idea attend mass less than once a week. more >>