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Catholic cardinals again voting on new Pope

Catholic cardinals meeting at the Vatican have been holding another round of voting to choose a new Pope.
The session in the Sistine Chapel follows two inconclusive rounds on Wednesday morning, and there is no sign of a positive result so far, BBC News reported.Cardinals are meeting for a second day to choose a successor to Pope Benedict, who resigned last month.The 115 electors are to remain isolated until two-thirds agree a leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.The cardinals will vote four times daily until a single candidate garners a two-thirds majority.A successful vote would immediately be followed by white smoke from a chimney on the roof and, soon afterwards, the Latin announcement “Habemus Papam” – we have a Pope.Black smoke indicates no pope has yet been chosen.Before the conclave began there was no clear frontrunner to replace Benedict XVI.The 85-year-old stepped down last month, saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church, which is beset by problems ranging from a worldwide scandal over child sex abuse to allegations of corr uption at the Vatican Bank.Voting takes place in silence, with no formal debate, until a decision is reached. If that does not happen after three days, there may be a pause for prayer and informal discussion for a maximum of one day.Crowds waiting for a result once again braved rainy conditions in St Peter’s Square to watch out for smoke issuing from the chimney.After lunch, the cardinals will return to the Sistine Chapel to resume their deliberations.Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said it was “perfectly normal” for there to be no result at this stage of the conclave, and not a sign of division among the cardinals.”One should not interpret this as being division or divisiveness amongst the cardinals, take into consideration the size of the group and the normal process,” he said.Only one pontiff in the last 100 years, wartime Pope Pius XII, had been elected after just three rounds of voting, he added.He said he had been “surprised&#822 1; by the number of people who turned out in St Peter’s Square to watch the first smoke on Tuesday night, and said the crowds would surely grow as suspense mounted.”We are living a beautiful and intense moment,” Fr Lombardi said.He added that Benedict – now Pope emeritus – was “doing well” and following the ceremony “with great interest”.Fr Lombardi also defended a number of cardinals, amid calls that they be excluded from the conclave because of their alleged role in covering up child sex abuse cases by priests.He accused the campaign group Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap) of “negative prejudices” for saying that US Cardinal Roger Mahony and others were unfit to take part.”We are convinced there are excellent reasons for why these cardinals should be respected and have every right to be in the conclave,” he added, saying that they had “given their explanations&#8221 ;. 

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