More black smoke, still no pope
The world waits in prayerful hope.
Black smoke billowed from the chimney again and again today as the cardinals continue to pray and ponder who the next pope shall be. Meanwhile, the world awaits their decision.
A pilgrim waits in yesterday's rain for the announcement that a new pope has been chosen. The pilgrim represents all of the faithful who wait in prayer.
The Church now faces great dangers from both within and without, and the next pope must be different than Benedict. The next pope must be a reformer, ready to extricate corruption from the Church while defending the unbroken traditions and faith that have lasted for over two millennia.
Still, papal conclaves usually take at least two to three days to reach a consensus and this one should be no different. The decision is significant and is made only after long periods of prayer and contemplation. The rounds of voting does not mean the cardinals are bitterly divided, it just means they need more time to listen.
Of course, it's impossible to know what is happening in the Sistine Chapel as the cardinals are sworn to an oath of secrecy on pain of excommunication.
The hard work of prayer and consideration, and the responsibility of choosing wisely is their lot. For us, it is to wait patiently, and to prayerfully trust that our new Holy Father will come to us soon.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: vatican, pope, smoke, black, white, St. Peter's Square, election, cardinals, conclave
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