San Jose, CA (March 12) -- People all over the world, including residents of this city, are anxiously waiting for the white smoke to come out from the chimney where some 116 cardinals all over the world are meeting (conclave) to elect the new pope that will succeed Pope Benedict XV1.
A friend of this writer, Ave Vida, a Filipina nurse working in a hospital in Rome, sent an update a few minutes ago (5:00 a.m. in Rome; 10:30 p.m. in San Jose) on the latest of the papal selection of a new pope.
She said that after the first black smoke... came conclave negotiations. The cardinals went back to the negotiation table and repeated the process of selecting the successor of Pope Benedict XV1.
According to her, there are two votes and two smokes per day, to inform the people of what's going on in the conclave. The first smoke comes out at 11:00 a.m. and the second smoke at 6:00 p.m. If they will be able to select a new pope tonight (morning in Rome), the smoke will come out tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. and if they fail to get a majority vote, the second smoke will come out at 6:00 p.m.
Leading the list of favorites, according to our Rome-based informant, is Italy's papal favorite Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71, the Archbishop of Milan. He is Italy's hope in reclaiming the papacy after a 35-year drought. Reports say he is a man with a penchant for invoking American authors, a reform-minded intellectual, a charismatic theologian, and with a progressive teaching style.
Trailing Cardinal Scola as a favorite of the cardinals is Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, 64, a Brazilian Archbishop of Sao Paolo. He is believed to be a bridge of the Third World to the First World because he was born in Brazil of German immigrants and maintains contact with his German folks.
A close third is Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, Archbishop of Quebec, Canada. The French-Canadian Archbishop became a cardinal under Pope John Paul 11 in October 2003.
Ave Vida further reports that another favorite is Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, 68, the Archbishop of Boston, USA. Cardinal O'Malley belongs to the Capuchin-Franciscan Order.
Early favorite Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio "Chito" Tagle, 55, was not mentioned by Vida as one of the current favorites but may still come out as a dark horse to the papacy. He is young, has a charismatic personality, has impressive theological and academic credentials, and speaks fluent Italian, English, Tagalog, French, and Latin.
More updates will come later today.