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There will be smoke: Papal election

Pope vote: cardinals approach the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican before the start of the conclave in 2005. This time there will be 115 cardinals casting votes twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon, trying to achieve a two thirds majority plus one  The first smoke signal from the locked‑in cardinals is due at about 6pm GMT today. I forecast black – no pope. While the cardinals are locked into their conclave, an umbrella is, perhaps surprisingly, in charge of the Catholic Church. On his coat of arms, Pope Benedict XVI sported a mitre above the cross keys. The keys stand for the authority of St Peter, whom Jesus told: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Now that the Church is in the popeless condition of sede vacante, the mitre has been replaced by an umbrella (red and gold striped), the umbraculum. The umbraculum is not in use these days, but if it were it would open out, not like the curly umbrellas in a Renoir paint

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