Your Guide to How the Pope Is Chosen

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  • Catholicism
  • Catholicism
  • Conclave, Catholicism
  • Peter Turkson
  • Catholicism
  • Conclave
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • Catholicism
  • Vatican City
  • Catholicism, Conclave

Black and White Smoke and Balloting

White smoke will plume from the chimney of Sistine Chapel after the pontiff is confirmed, whereas black smoke signals more deliberation is needed. Up to four ballots are cast each day until a two-thirds majority is reached. On the fourth day, if no majority is reached, the cardinals must take a break for prayer. (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)