VATICAN CITY (CBSNewYork/AP) — There was no pope selected Tuesday during the first day of the Papal conclave.
Black smoke poured from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, signaling that the 115 cardinals had failed to elect a new pope on their first try.
“This is the way that it goes, and we knew that this is the way it would go from the very beginning,” said Vatican expert the Rev. Robert Dodaro.
PHOTOS: Papal Conclave Day One
To veteran Vatican watchers, an inconclusive first vote was no surprise, CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported from Vatican City. But there was a small sliver of hope that white smoke would billow from the chimney, signaling consensus on a new pope, until the news was official.
It was a day of majestic ceremony and magnificent choreography. The cardinals gathered at St. Peter’s Basilica to pray for wisdom in selecting a new Holy Father, while the faithful prayed for them.
“I prayed that they make the right decision, because I feel like there needs to be some big changes, personally,” said tourist Debbie King.
“When I walked into the piazza into the piazza, there’s nothing but a chill came over me,” added visitor Michael King. “I had goose bumps on top of goose bumps.”
The Rev. Thomas Rosica was among the witnesses who were the last to leave the chapel.
“The chanting started and the Litany of Saints – it was the strangest sensation I don’t usually get that often – chills going up and down my back, you know, and looking at the Wall of Redemption, and Michelangelo, and the artwork, seeing pass before me the leaders of a world religion from any corner of the world,” Rosica said.
But the moment the black smoke started wafting from the chimney, the faithful in a rainy St. Peter’s Square understood that history would have to wait at least another day.