Making Smoke: Vatican Releases Its Secret Recipe

Black smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel

It’s white!  No, it’s grey!  No, it’s black!We are a world of smoke-watchers today, checking the news for a sign that the Cardinal electors have finished their work and have elected the next Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.The New York Times, quoting Vatican sources on their Science page, explains: Both recipes are fairly standard pyrotechnical formulas. The white smoke, used to announce the election of a new pope, combines potassium chlorate, milk sugar (which serves as an … [Read more...]

History in the Making: Cardinals Take the Oath in Sistine Chapel

Cardinal Dolan swears the oath of secrecy

After enjoying lunch in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Cardinals returned to the Apostolic Palace.  Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the assembly, making the sign of the Cross, pronounced: “May the Lord, who guides our hearts in the love and patience of Christ, be with you all.” After this brief prayer, he invited those gathered to begin the procession towards the Sistine Chapel, where the Conclave would be held, saying: “Venerable Brothers, after having celebrated the divine myster … [Read more...]

So…. Who’s Getting Up VERY EARLY to Watch the Mass?

Cardinals process to Sistine Chapel

Tomorrow’s the big day:  At 10:00 a.m. Rome time (yep, that’s 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time!), the Cardinals will gather in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff (Mass Pro Eligendo).  The principal celebrant will be His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals.  If you are a morning person with the unadulterated will to rise at that hour, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see all of the Cardinals in the world gather to celebrate the E … [Read more...]