The crowds are now emptying out of St. Peter's Square after the smoke seen rising from the Sistine Chapel chimney pipe was apparently black. Yesterday's smoke appeared much darker black than today's (greyish in color), which caused a moment of hesitation among the crowd and with the American cable news networks. Had the two-thirds majority been reached? No one could be certain. But after many moments had passed with no ringing of the bells, it was clear that no new Pope had been elected.
But minutes later, more confusion occurred: the clock struck noon and the Basilica bells rung out, causing many in the crowd to cheer wildly for about a minute, as they confused the bells announcing the hour with bells announcing a new Pope. The chimney then began again to pour out more smoke (much blacker the second time around), thus subsiding any hopes of the crowd. This morning's two votes brings the total tally to three. Another round of two ballots will occur this afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. CET (10:00 a.m. EDT). Smoke is expected at roughly 7:00 p.m. CET (1:00 p.m. EDT).