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The Vatican

Smoke signals

  • Denise Enos
  • |
  • March 12 2013
CNS photo/Paul Haring

When the smoke from the special Vatican chimney is white and not black, we’ll have a new Pope

Your students were young children the last time a new Pope was elected, and they may not remember many details. Use this historic event as an opportunity to teach them some interesting facts about electing a new Pope.

The first round of voting will take place at 11:45 Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, March 12; the first smoke signal should appear around 1:30 p.m. EST. After Tuesday, there will be two rounds of voting daily through Friday at 4:30 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. EST. During any of the rounds, if the smoke is black, a consensus has not been reached. If the smoke is white, Habemus papam: "We have a Pope."

For a step-by-step graphic representation of the election process to share with your students, click here.


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