Black smoke has poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling that cardinals have failed to elect a pope on their first try.

Black smoke billows out from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The cardinals held the first day of the conclave Tuesday deeply divided over the problems of the church and who best among them could fix them following the stunning resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican made clear it didn't expect a winner on the first ballot.

The cardinals now return to the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel for the night. They return to the Apostolic Palace for Mass Wednesday morning and a new round of voting.

Pope Benedict is said to be following the proceedings from home, as cardinals from around the world start the task of choosing his successor.

Cardinals can choose status quo or change

eople pack St Peter's Square as they await news of whether the College of Cardinals have elected a new Pope (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

As cardinals decide who will be the next pope, Angelo Scola of Italy is seen as the favorite among cardinals hoping to shape up the way the Vatican is governed.

Brazil's Odilo Scherer is backed by Vatican-based insiders who want to preserve the status quo.

Other names include Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who heads the Vatican's powerful office for bishops, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the exuberant archbishop of New York.

The resignation of Pope Benedict last month threw the church into turmoil, and exposed divisions among cardinals wrestling with whether to choose a manager to clean up the Vatican's bureaucracy or a pastor who can inspire Catholics at a time when faith is waning.

 


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