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Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is Pope Francis

By on Wednesday, 13 March 2013

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9.40pm GMT: A momentous day, with the election of the first Jesuit as pope, the first Latin American pope, the first pope from the southern hemisphere and the first non-European for 1,200 years, the first chemist pope and the first Pope Francis. We’ll be back tomorrow morning – in the meantime, to our readers across the world, God Bless.

9.37pm GMT: The Vatican’s semi-official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has a new front page.

9.33pm GMT: American vice-president Joe Biden will lead an American deligation to Pope Francis’ installation in Rome next Tuesday.

9.22pm GMT: Herald editor Luke Coppen writes in the Daily Telegraph:

As he showed in his first address this evening, he is a man of great humility, asking first for the blessing of the crowd in St Peter’s Square before he delivered his own. His choice of the name “Francis” evokes St Francis of Assisi, the Italian mystic who received a call from God to “rebuild my Church”. Pope Francis must believe that it is his task to rebuild a Church that has been profoundly damaged by abuse scandals and corruption within the Roman Curia.

9.10pm GMT: Cardinal Timothy Dolan has congratulated the new pope, the head of the US Bishops’ Conference saying:

“Pope Francis I stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside. The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis I. The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.”

9.03pm GMT: The BBC reports:

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby offered his congratulations, saying the election of the new Pope was of great significance to all Christians. “We have long since recognised – and often reaffirmed – that our churches hold a special place for one another. I look forward to meeting Pope Francis, and to walking and working together to build on the consistent legacy of our predecessors,” he says.

Archbishop Welby, who is new head of the Anglican Church, adds: “As I begin tomorrow a prayer pilgrimage toward my own inauguration as Archbishop in Canterbury next Thursday, Pope Francis will be much in my own prayers, as he will be throughout the coming months and years.”

9pm GMT: As the Guardian reports, world leaders have been congratulating the new pope:

Barack Obama, said: “On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the chair of St Peter and begins his papacy.

“As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than 2,000 years that in each other we see the face of God.

“As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.”

The European Union leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso wished the new Catholic leader “a long and blessed pontificate”.

In Latin America, there were tears and cheers at the news of the first pope from the hemisphere. Even in Communist Cuba, there was pride as church bells rang to celebrate the news.

8.56pm GMT: NCR reports: Pope Francis’ installation Mass will take place at 9:30 a.m. Rome time Tuesday, March 19, at the Vatican.

8.53pm GMT: The Washington Post lists the 10 previous non-European popes, starting with St Peter and ending with Gregory III.

8.52pm GMT: Fr Lombardi says Pope Francis has telephoned the Pope Emeritus.

8.49pm GMT: Here are ten facts about our new Holy Father:

* Aged 76, he was born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936, one of five children of an Italian immigrant railway worker.
* He entered the Society of Jesus in 1958. He was the provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979.
* He was ordained a priest in 1969 and a bishop in 1992, and was made a cardinal in 2001.
* He is the first Jesuit ever to be pope.
* He is the first non-European pope since Pope Gregory III (AD 731-741).
* He is the first pope from the Americas, and the first pope from the southern hemisphere.
* He is the first pope to introduce a new single papal name in over 1,000 years.
* He is seen as a link between the Jesuits and the Communion and Liberation movement.
* In 2001 he visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.
* In September 2012 he criticised priests who refuse to baptise children born out of wedlock, calling it a form of “rigorous and hypocritical neo-clericalism”.

8.37pm GMT: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, has welcomed the new pope:

“I was surprised that the conclave was so quick. It took hardly any longer than the election of Benedict XVI. Given the pre-Conclave situation, and the absence of a single dominant figure, I can only see this quick result as God’s work. As soon as I heard I went into my chapel and offered a grateful and joyful prayer of thanksgiving … Deo Gratias!

“He is a man of firsts. The first Latin Anerican. The first Jesuit. The first Pope Francis. I think we can take from his first appearance that he is a humble, spiritual and calm man. A reconciler and healer, with a strong background on social justice. His name reminds us of the little saint of Assisi. A simple man who was the poor servant of Jesus and who was given the message ‘rebuild my church’. It is a very significant message for our time. He may also have in mind St Francis Xavier the great missionary and a reminder of the need for a new evangelisation.

“We missed having a Pope. Catholics feel the need for Peter. We now have
Peter back. The new Pope will give us joy and confidence.”

8.31pm GMT: Catholic News Service reports that Fr Lombardi says: “Personally, I’m a bit shocked to have a Jesuit pope. Jesuits think of themselves servants, not authorities in church.”

8.23pm GMT: Cardinal Bergoglio was among the Herald’s featured papabili from March 1 – just. (His name is the last one on the long list.) Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 20.25.53

8.16pm GMT: He is a fan of San Lorenzo del Almagro football club and was given a signed shirt by the team. The club were founded by Fr Lorenzo Massa, who offered local street children a place to play football after he saw a tram almost run over some children playing the game. He is a passionate reader of Borges and Dostoyevsky.

8.14pm GMT: John Allen’s profile of the new pope:

After the dust settled from the election of Benedict XVI, various reports identified the Argentine Jesuit as the main challenger to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. One cardinal later said the conclave had been “something of a horse race” between Ratzinger and Bergoglio, and an anonymous conclave diary splashed across the Italian media in September 2005 claimed that Bergoglio received 40 votes on the third ballot, just before Ratzinger crossed the two-thirds threshold and became pope.

Though it’s hard to say how seriously one should take the specifics, the general consensus is that Bergoglio was indeed the “runner-up” last time around. He appealed to conservatives in the College of Cardinals as a man who had held the line against liberalizing currents among the Jesuits, and to moderates as a symbol of the church’s
commitment to the developing world.

Back in 2005, Bergoglio drew high marks as an accomplished intellectual, having studied theology in Germany. His leading role during the Argentine economic crisis burnished his reputation as a voice of conscience, and made him a potent symbol of the costs globalization can impose on the world’s poor.

Bergoglio’s reputation for personal simplicity also exercised an undeniable appeal – a Prince of the Church who chose to live in a simple apartment rather than the archbishop’s palace, who gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of taking the bus to work, and who
cooked his own meals.

8.11pm GMT: Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has expressed his joy at the news:

“On behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, I wish to express my great joy at the news of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. as the 265th Successor of St Peter and Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church.”

“As he begins his new Apostolic ministry, as the Bishop of Rome and Shepherd of the universal Church, Pope Francis I may be assured of the prayers and loving support of the Catholic community throughout England and Wales.”

8.09pm GMT: Damian Thompson writes of “this humble man from the New World”:

“His challenge is clear. He needs to learn from Benedict XVI’s greatest success – and his greatest failure. The success was the restoration of reverent, mystical worship to the centre of Catholic life, an achievement that has inspired a dynamic generation of young Catholics.”

8.06pm GMT: Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes the new pope, calling it a “momentous day” for Catholics around the world.

8.02pm GMT: The last non-European pope was Gregory III, a Syrian, who died in 741.

7.59pm GMT: Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor tells the BBC: “He called himself the bishop of rome, and ‘you are my people’ … I think it’s wonderful. The Catholic Church is now a global Church in a new way, and this man understands that.”

7.57pm GMT: Ged Clapson, the communications officer of the British Jesuit, says: “I am completely surprised and delighted. He has chosen a very appropriate name because to combine Assisi with Xavier one has peace and evangelisation. A very thoughtful choice of name.

“As far as the pundits were concerned he did not seem to be an obvious choice but hopefully the cardinals guided by the holy spirit felt differently.”

7.49pm GMT: Bishop Philip Egan, Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, has welcomed the new Holy Father:

“On behalf of all the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Portsmouth, I am absolutely delighted to welcome our new Holy Father, Pope Francis l.

“We are profoundly grateful to God for the gift of this great and holy man to the Church to lead us as 265th Successor of St. Peter. We pray for him and express to him our deep loyalty and fidelity.

“May the Holy Spirit inspire him with all the spiritual gifts needed for the work of new evangelisation, and grant him the personal health and strength for the challenges ahead.

“God bless our Pope!”

7.48pm GMT: We have a profile of the new pope.

He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as “Father Jorge.”

7.45pm GMT: The new Pope Francis stood quietly and calmly on the balcony, receiving the cheers of the huge crowd in St Peter’s Square, smiled and said: “Good evening!

He said: :You know that the duty of the conclave was to provide Rome with a bishop. It looks as if my brothers the cardinals went to fetch him from the end of the world!

“I’d like to thank you for your welcome. The people of Rome: thank you! I’d like to pray for Benedict XVI. Let’s pray altogether for him so that the Madonna can look after him.”

Then Pope Francis said the Lord’s Prayer, followed by the Hail Mary. “Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. And now let’s start working together, walking together, in the Church of Rome.

“This is the path of brotherhood and trust. Let’s pray for each other because of the great brotherhood of the world. I pray the path will be fruitful for this beautiful city.

“Now I will bless you. But I’d like to ask you a favour, for your prayer to bless me as your bishop. Let’s pray silently, your prayer for me.”

The stole was put around his shoulders, and then Pope Francis said: “I am going to bless you all and the entire world – all the men and women of good will.”

And the new pope gave the Urbi et Orbi blessing, and the crowd cheered. Before he left the balcony Pope Francis said: “I’m going to leave you now. Good night, and I wish you peace.”

7.40pm GMT: The new pope has focussed on social justice. Has spent his life open to the poor and destitute.

7.35pm GMT: Vatican Radio has a biography of Pope Francis:

The man elected to be the 265th Successor of Saint Peter in the conclave, is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite. He was born on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires. He was ordained for the Jesuits on 13 December 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel.

He was novice master in San Miguel, where he also taught theology. He was Provincial for Argentina (1973-1979) and rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel (1980-1986). After completing his doctoral dissertation in Germany, he served as a confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.

On 20 May 1992 he was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires, receiving episcopal consecration on 27 June. On 3 June 1997 was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino on 28 February 1998. He is also Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite.

7.33pm GMT: Not among the favourites, Cardinal Bergoglio is known for his humility and simple living, using public transport and washing the feet of Aids victims.

7.31pm GMT: New pope begins by asking for prayers for the Pope Emeritus.

7.22pm GMT: Pope Francis greets the crowd in St Peter’s.

7.21pm GMT: Pope Francis is the first non-European pope for 1,000 years.

7.12pm GMT: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is Pope Francis I, the first Jesuit to be pope.

7.10pm GMT: Cardinal Tauran’s first words will be: “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam; Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum [first name of new pope, in Latin] Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem [his last name], Qui sibi nomen imposuit [his papal name].”

7.04pm GMT: CNS report a crowd of 100,000 in St Peter’s Square.

7pm GMT: The @pontifex Twitter account has been reactivated.

6.54pm GMT: The crowd are singing Salve Regina. Any moment now…

6.53pm GMT: Rocco Palmo notes that the Vatican website has been updated: “Vatican website reads “HABEMVS PAPAM,” restores tiara symbolizing end of Sede Vacante.”

6.47pm GMT: Before he comes out on the balcony, the new pope will pause in the Pauline chapel of the Apostolic Palace for a moment of adoration.

6.40pm GMT: All of Italy’s military bands are marching in formation.

6.38pm GMT: Protodeacon Cardinal Tauran will shortly appear on the balcony to announce the new pope.

6.34pm GMT Fr Thomas Rosica of the Vatican press office says Salt + Light Television that “things were much more open this year… they were keenly aware what kind of leader was necessary”.

6.27pm GMT: Flags of Poland, France, Spain, USA, Argentina, Romania, Mexico, Malta and Brazil in St Peter’s Square.

6.24pm GNT: Catholic News Service report that it will be up another 40 minutes until Cardinal Tauran appears to tell us who is pope.

6.22pm GMT: The bells of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral are ringing to celebrate the election, reports Huw Twiston-Davies.

6.17pm GMT: Catholic News Service reports: ‘Thousands running toward St. Pete’s Square to join those already there’.

6.15pm GMT: What happens now: the elected cardinal is asked if he accepts his election as pope. If he accepts, he choses the name he will take. He then goes to the Room of Tears, where he dresses in a white cassock. He returns to the cardinals, who will kiss his ring in humility and obeisance. From the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, the senior cardinal deacon proclaims “Habemus papam!” – we have a pope! and announces his name, first as cardnal and then his papal name. The new pontiff appears on the balcony and gives his first papal blessing.

6.10pm GMT: The crowd are cheering Habemus Papam! We shall know his name between 6.40 and 6.55pm.

6.06pm GMT: Pilgrims mass in St Peter’s Square as white smoke shows a new pope has been elected

5.59pm GMT: Vespers scheduled at 6.15pm GMT…

5.54pm GMT: Journalist Brian Whelan tweets: “12 Vatican seagull accounts already, surely proof we have a jobs crisis.”

5.46pm GMT: Westminster Diocese tweets: “Bishop Alan Hopes currently celebrating the 5.30pm Mass at Westminster Cathedral & praying for the intentions of the Cardinals in #Conclave”

5.32pm GMT: Reuters reporter Naomi O’Leary tweets: “Hang on in there little fella, if you see the smoke it’ll be really cool. Better than eating an icecream!” Priest to child.”

17.23 GMT: Here is some conclave trivia to pass the time. Did you know Gregory X’s approach was to make conditions so spartan that the cardinals were pressured into making a decision fast?

17.19 GMT: Alessandro Speciale tweets: “Hundreds of journalists with nothing to do but chimney watching are tweeting obsessively about seagulls. That’s the #conclave for you :-)”

16.57 While we are waiting here is John Allen’s sharp analysis on what lies in store for the new pope during his first days of office and what we should look out for:

“When Pope Benedict XVI stepped out onto the balcony in 2005, photographers caught images of a plain black sweater under his new papal vestments. (As a footnote, the sleeves of the sweater were later airbrushed out of official Vatican portraits of the moment.) The new pope declared himself “a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the lord.” Both the sweater and the words were hints that Benedict didn’t have an overly grandiose notion of his own role, an outlook that culminated eight years later in his resignation.

“If the new pope holds to form, he’ll ask the cardinals who elected him to stay an extra night in the Casa Santa Marta, the hotel on Vatican grounds where they’re lodged during the conclave, and then join him the next morning for Mass in the Sistine Chapel.

“Eight years ago, Benedict prepared a four-page speech in Latin for the occasion, committing himself to work toward “collegial communion,” a proper interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, ecumenism and dialogue with cultures, “authentic social development” and outreach to the young. How well he pulled off any of that is a matter for debate, but it was nonetheless a basic blueprint for his pontificate.”

16.38 GMT: The cardinals are probably voting in the second ballot now. The previous number of ballots for papal elections have been as follows:

Pope Benedict XVI: 2 days and 4 ballots
Pope John Paul II: 2 days and 8 ballots
Pope John Paul I: 1 day and 4 ballots
Pope Paul VI: 2 days and 6 ballots

16.30 GMT: Vatican Radio is re-airing an interview with the retired American Cardinal William Wakefield Baum in which he gives his impressions of being in a conclave. He says:

“It’s a very prayerful experience. We spent most of our time in prayer and reflection and that’s the spirit of the conclave it’s not what the world might think. It’s a spiritual experience, truly a retreat, and it’s mysterious. The operation of the Holy Spirit is with us. It’s indefinable but we are aware of it.”

16.28 GMT: Fr James Martin suggests a prayer while we wait.

16.25 GMT: So it looks like the “Conclave Seagull” has joined twitter already…

16.17 GMT: Phil Lawler offers three pointers for journalists covering the conclave:

1) Reject simplistic explanations;
2) Expect the unexpected;
3) Remember that the story doesn¹t end with the new Pope¹s appearance.

16.10 GMT: Fr James Martin tweets: “That everyone WAITS to see the white smoke, in an age of instant everything, is an image of the spiritual life, where one waits…for God.”

16.03 GMT: CatholicPulse tweets: “Waiting to see if a new Pope has been elected on 4th ballot. This was the “Benedict XVI” Ballot in 2005. #conclave #prayerforthechurch”

15.55 GMT: Jason Horowitz tweets: “Cardinals are back in Sistine Chapel. For the first time there is real tension in the Vatican press office.”

15.49 GMT: The 115 cardinals are due to begin two rounds of voting for a new pope now.

15.46 GMT: Our Sunday Visitor tweets: “Wondering, @ConclaveChimney, what this means? http://twitpic.com/cb1fia #whatdoesthebirdknow #conclave”

15.30 GMT: Full text of Fr Thomas Rosica describing how he felt when he discovered he would be entering the Sistine Chapel with the cardinals on Tuesday.

“When [Fr Lombardi, SJ] told me the night before, that [I] would be going into the Sistine Chapel, I lost a little bit of sleep that night, trying to imagine what this would be.”

15.22 GMT: Cardinals are now making their way to the Apostolic Palace. At 15.50 GMT they will begin two more rounds of voting.

15.02 GMT: This is a handy guide that we’re using in the office for when the Pope’s name is first announced. Assuming he is not elected himself, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran may read out one of the following capitalised names, saying:

“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam; Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum [First name in Latin]…”

ANGELUM: Scola
PETRUM: Turkson
ODILONEM: Scherer
CHRISTOPHORUM: Schönborn
MARCUM: Ouellet
IOANNEM PATRICIUM: O’Malley
TIMOTHEUM: Dolan
IOANNEM FRANCISCUM: Ravasi
ALOISIUM: Tagle
THARISICIUM: Bertone
PETRUM: Erdő
GEORGIUM: Bergoglio

14.41 GMT: Freddy Gray of the Spectator asks the question we would all like to know the answer to: “Does a conclave result today mean Angelo Scola is Pope?”

“The BBC, typically, is also already using the word ‘deadlock’ to describe the Conclave – even though a resolution this morning would have made it a very fast election. But the idea of division and antipathy within the Vatican suits the secular line on Catholicism, so we can expect much more media talk of ‘deadlock’, ‘impasse’ and ‘crisis’ as long as the election carries on. The Cardinals will know that, even if they can’t see it.

“At the same time, there is an extent to which the experts are modelling their theories on what happened in 2005. The dynamics of this Conclave are very different. Eight years ago, Joseph Ratzinger was the obvious quick choice. His opponents in the College of Cardinals pushed, it is said, for the Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (who is in the Sistine Chapel again this week) but they fell short. Ratzinger had too much support within and without the Curia. Scola does not have quite the same sway.

“It’s all too contradictory for confident assertions. It is said that the more curial-minded electors – many of whom are Italian — are keen for a world figure who will not interfere with their control of the Vatican, while foreign Archbishops want a Roman figure to shake things up in and around St Peter’s.

“You could go mad trying to get your head around all the outcomes. Today, though, Scola is the name on everyone’s lips.”

14.40 GMT: Belfast Telegraph summarises the length of the papal conclaves of the last 100 years.

14.00 GMT: “Save us from a boring pope,” pleads Andrew M Brown of the Daily Telegraph:

“John XXIII was expected to be a caretaker pope, after the 19-year pontificate of Pius XII, but the Vatican Council he set in motion had a huge impact. What people remember about him most is his humanity – his smile especially. “Good Pope John”, some called him. He was a member of the human race. He had sort of holy simplicity. Pope Benedict had this quality, too, even though he was a brilliant scholar. You saw this when he addressed the schoolchildren in Twickenham in 2010. He told them that they could be the saints of the 21st century. One of the tragedies of the modern world, he said, was that young people don’t find happiness, because they look for it in the wrong places. “The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God.

“Benedict’s message was usually gentle like that, not strident, and he spoke directly to people’s hearts, especially the young. Fr Frederick Faber, the Oratorian, said that “kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning, and these three last have never converted anyone, unless they were kind also”. I hope the new pope has this gift – that he’s someone with an affinity for people, an instinctive pastoral sense, and not a dessicated bureaucrat. A pope to inspire a Church of saints.”

1.28pm GMT: Catholic News Service tweets: “Installation of new pontificate March 19 feast of St. Joseph? “A good hypothesis,” Lombardi says”

1.22pm GMT: Patricia Thomas tweets: “#Vatican spox says he doesn’t know #Cardinals menu but likely they have wine at lunch and dinner if they wish because that is the Roman way”

12.48pm GMT: Among other things, Fr Lombardi shows what the ballot paper looks like.

12.38pm GMT: Vatican spokesman Fr Tom Rosica says he had “chills going up his spine” as the choir sang at yesterday’s Mass, while he watched the cardinals from around the world. “I saw not just the cardinals’ faces, but their countries.… I was part of something much bigger than I…”

12.23pm GTM: The press conference has been discussing the chemicals involved in the conclave smoke. A post on the St Michael Society blog explains the historical background of the smoke.

12.18pm GMT: the Conclave Chimney tweets: “for such an ‘antiquated’ belief system, Catholic church is totally owning Twitter right now, 6 out of 7 top trending topics.”

12.17pm GMT: Barack Obama says an American pope could preside just as effectively as a Polish or Guatemalan one.

12.14pm GMT: Vatican expert John Thavis writes about the setting of the Conclave:

As the cardinals walk toward the Sistine Chapel to vote for a new pope, they pass through the Sala Regia, literally the “royal room” where popes once received emperors, kings and princes.

The room is one of the most ornate in the Vatican, and its art works illustrate the church’s temporal influence through the centuries. If the cardinals glance at the frescoes, they have to be thinking: How times have changed.

12.12pm GMT: At a press conference Fr Federico Lombardi says that he was surprised by how many people turned up in St Peter’s Sequare. He said there had been three ballots without anyone getting 77 votes, a “normal process of discernment”.

12.04pm GMT: Cardinal Schoenborn’s 92-year-old mother Eleonore hope he does not get made pope, the Huffington Post reports.

“The whole family is afraid that Christoph will be elected pope,” Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper in an interview printed on Tuesday as 115 Roman Catholic cardinals gathered in Rome to pick the new head of the Church.

12.03pm GMT: The Washington Post has run two profiles on Cardinal Angelo Scola and Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

12.00pm GMT: For those who wish to know, the Catholic Truth Society’s Conclave: Step by Step through the Papal Interregnum explains everything.

11.58am GMT: Herald columnist Edward Pentin writes in the National Catholic Register that “it’s like waiting for Christmas”:

“I feel like a child on Christmas eve waiting eagerly for Christmas to begin,” says Br. Cassian Koenemann, a Benedictine monk from St. Louis studying in Rome, “with the only difference being that I don’t know when the big event will begin.”

11.57am GMT: Karen Pauls of CBC tweets “Italian newspapers this morning have the same three papal front runners: Scola (Italy), Scherer (Brazil), Ouellet (Canada).”

11.33am GMT: The Times of India has a feature on Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, the youngest cardinal elector.

Indian cardinal Cleemis Thottunkal is the youngest cardinal taking part in the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

Also known as Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, the 53-year-old Thottunkal is the archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala. He was one of the last cardinals appointed by
Benedict in November 2012.

Thottunkal is the first cardinal of the Syro-Malankar rite, a West Syrian Rite Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See, which has a total membership of around 500,000.

11.30am GMT: CBS This Morning tweets: “Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is ‘watching everything on TV’ as the #conclave proceeds, reports Father Thomas Rosica.”

11.02am GMT: The Catholic News Service has compiled an invaluable list of the cardinal electors’ first names in Latin, in the accusative case. When this name is read out on the balcony of St Peter’s it will be the first clue to the identity of the new pope.

10.42am GMT: Rome does not look especially inviting (even watching from Britain), but the papal conclave will still benefit the city’s tourism industry, reports Business Week.

This year, the city of Rome has said it expects the conclave to attract a few hundred thousand visitors—it has priced the cost of managing the crowds at €4.5 million. Travel website Expedia (EXPE) says the number of trips to Rome booked on its Italian site doubled in the 24 hours after Benedict announced his resignation. But so far, except for some 5,000 journalists who have applied for accreditation to cover the event, and the winter season’s usual sparse showing of tourists, the crowds have yet to materialize. “There should be a bunch of people, but where are they?” says Marotta’s father, Pasquale, 56. “Unfortunately, there’s little work.”

So far the only people feeling the boom of the conclave are the hotels nearest the Vatican. According to the website Casevacanza.it, demand for housing during the week of March 11 is up 30 percent. “This month, we’re usually empty,” says Viscardo Scialanga, manager of Hotel Sant’Anna, a few hundred meters from St. Peter’s Basilica. “Now it’s one day full, one day nearly full.”

10.39am GMT: Two more rounds of voting will begin at 3.50pm.

10.38am GMT: Black smoke.

10.35am GMT: Spotify has come up with a list of songs for the conclave: The list was created by Notre Dame Center for Liturgy’s director  Tim O’Malley and assistant director Carolyn Pirtle.

10.27am GMT: If elected, would Cardinal Dolan take the name Hilarius II, asks David Gibson.

10.17am GMT: Guardian Belief tweets: “Barcelona keep up divine record of winning 4-0 during papal conclaves.”

9.57am GMT: Herald blogger Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith suggests what will be required of the new supreme pontiff:

The new Pope will not only have to be whiter than white on the issue of child abuse – and have no skeletons in his background – but he will also have to be the sort of person who will inaugurate a new era in the Church, and who will consign the era of Vatileaks, the era of the Vatican bank scandals, and the era of the child abuse scandal to history – without of course losing sight of the lessons we should learn from all three. That is going to take more than an “obvious” candidate. It is going to take an exceptional one.

9.46pm GMT: Catholic Herald blogger Francis Phillips writes about the sadness and sacrifice that comes with being pope.

It does not surprise that the man chosen might weep at the thought of the heavy cross he is about to carry on behalf of the Church. No longer is it the case that a newly-elected pope says, as a Renaissance forbear, Leo X, is alleged to have said, “God has given us the papacy; now let us enjoy it.” Indeed, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec is quoted as having described the position as “a nightmare.”

9.32am GMT: Cardinal Collins of Toronto tells Channel 4 that choosing a new Pope is all about prayer, not politics: “it really is a profoundly spiritual experience.”

9.28am GMT: David Leonhardt, a colleague of statistical genius Nate Silver, says that the bookmakers are taking a huge bet on the next pope:

This time, the experts and oddsmakers seem to agree that Cardinal Scola is the favorite, but they don’t agree on all of the second-tier favorites. A survey of Vatican watchers by YouTrend listed Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the United States as the second most likely pope, followed by Cardinals Ouellet, Scherer and O’Malley. Cardinal Luis Tagle, of the Philippines, was sixth. A couple of the oddsmakers’ favorites, including Cardinals Turkson and Bertone, do not appear on the YouTrend list.

To be sure, experts aren’t always less wise than crowds. A few Supreme Court experts did a better job forecasting last summer’s health care decision than prediction markets did, and their success did not appear to be merely a matter of chance. Those experts managed to read some of the signs around the court in the weeks leading up the decision. The odds on the prediction market, by contrast, did not react to the signs at all.

Similarly, during the 2012 election, poll analysts arguably did a better job than prediction markets or oddsmakers.

A conclave is precisely the sort of event that can play to experts’ strengths. As with the health care decision, experts have the potential to collect useful information that isn’t available to the public. Of course, having the potential to do something and actually doing it are two different things.

9.21pm GMT: The Cardinals are in their second ballot. None of the previous five popes have been elected within the first three ballots, although John Paul I and Benedict XVI were elected on the fourth.

9.18am GMT: The Catholic News Service tweets: “More rain in Rome. More smoke watchers in St Pete’s Square getting drenched.”

9.01am GMT: John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter compares today to the American “Super Tuesday”:

Rather than one ballot, today could bring as many as four, depending on whether or not someone gains a two-thirds majority and is elected pope before things go that far.

Those four rounds of voting loom as the make-or-break test for whoever emerged yesterday as the early frontrunner, or frontrunners. If one candidate continues to gain momentum and appears to be headed to 77 votes, it could be the “knock-out blow” that Super Tuesday is designed to deliver in American primaries, allowing one candidate to take control of the race and avoiding gridlock down the stretch.

Just as in American politics, however, Super Tuesday doesn’t always work as advertised. Sometimes the results are mixed, and that’s when things can get interesting.

In the second conclave of 1978, the New Hampshire phase in the early rounds of voting clearly identified two powerhouse candidates, Cardinals Giovanni Benelli and Giuseppe Siri. That conclave’s Super Tuesday, however, made it clear that neither man was going to cross the two-thirds threshold. At that stage the cardinals were forced to go looking for an alternative, and they found Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, who took the world by storm as Pope John Paul II.

The bottom line is that if today fails to deliver a pope, then all bets are off in terms of who might step out on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica wearing white.

8.45am GMT: A tweet from the National Catholic Reporter’s Joshua McElwee: “Thunderstorms expected in Rome this afternoon. If #conclave produces #pope , he may greet a wet, unhappy crowd.”

8.30am GMT: Welcome to our live blog on the second day of the conclave.

The cardinals had breakfast in their residence from 5.30am GMT. At 6.45am GMT they transferred from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Pauline Chapel.

At 7.15am GMT they began to celebrate Mass in the chapel. The cardinals are now moving from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel, where they will pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

Here is a run-down of what’s happening today:

Around 9.00am GMT the cardinals will proceed with two rounds of voting.

At 11am GMT the smoke is sent up after the morning votes.

The cardinals will transfer from the Sistine Chapel to the Domus Sanctae Marthae at 11.30pm GMT At noon, lunch is served.

At 3pm GMT the cardinals transfer from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Sistine Chapel.

At 3:50pm GMT, after a brief prayer the cardinals proceed with the two rounds of evening votes.

At 6pm GMT the smoke is sent up after the evening votes.