Tulsa Catholic leader discusses conclave to elect pope

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 3/12/2013 5:26 pm Published: 3/12/2013 4:12 pm

Black smoke was seen pouring above the Sistine Chapel signaling the search for a new pope is still ongoing.

That man will lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Many are predicting a new pontiff will be named by Thursday.

"At this moment we are without a pope and we need one in order to function,” says Tulsa’s Bishop, Edward Slattery.

FOX23 met with him about the process of choosing the new pope and what the decision could mean for Tulsa. Slattery says the new pope must receive two thirds of the majority and there are 115 cardinals voting.

The process of voting for a new pope is a very formal one. The cardinals will simply write down the name of the cardinal they would like to see become the new pope on a ballot, and then place their ballot inside a chalice. There will be other cardinals nearby acting as witnesses. Once each voting session is done, the ballots are burned and the smoke is seen wafting through the chapel’s chimney.

"If black smoke comes up and they put some chemicals in there to let the whole world know we had a ballot, then we don't have a pope,” says Bishop Slattery.

The signal that a pope has been confirmed is when white smoke is seen.

Sam Rhoades has been a devout Catholic for 40 years now. He says this is an exciting waiting game for the entire world.

“We look to the pope for guidance, and we look for him to be able to help us discern our way through life and understanding the Holy Scripture,” says Rhoades.

Sam has even been given a cardinal from India to pray for during this time and can hardly wait to see who the new pope will be.

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