THE BIG SMOKEMarch 13, 2013 @ 11:33 am
(AP) - The ballots are tied together with needle and thread and are then placed in an iron stove. If the smoke coming out of the chimney is white _ not black _ it means there's a pope.
The signal hasn't always been so clear. In 1958, damp straw didn't catch fire, and the smoke was white instead of black. After John Paul's death in 2005, the Vatican used special chemicals in an effort to make the color clear _ with only limited success.
If in doubt, the bells of St. Peter's Basilica also ring when a new pope has been chosen.
_ Frances D'Emilio _ Twitter http://twitter.com/fdemilio
"Pope Live" follows the choice of the new pope as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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