White Smoke! New Pope Elected
White smoke rises from Sistine Chapel Image by NBC News
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- White smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel Wednesday, signaling to Rome and the world that the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have chosen a new pope.
The smoke came on the second day of behind-closed-doors voting and marked the beginning to a new era for a church combatting scandal and internal strife.
The name of the new leader of the church's 1.2 billion worshippers was expected to be unveiled imminently on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica overlooking St. Peter's Square.
His appearance will be heralded by a Latin announcement begins with the phrase "Habemus Papam!" meaning, "We have a pope!"
The papal election follows the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 28.