Who will be next pope? No word yet, but 115 options - WFLA News Channel 8

Who will be next pope? No word yet, but 115 options

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Black smoke indicated Cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope in Vatican City, where they're gathered for the traditional papal conclave that began Tuesday.

The first ballot was not expected to produce a two-thirds vote to select a new pope, but that step in the process is still important, said Randall Woodard, assistant professor of theology at St. Leo University.

"You're gonna hear where everybody is starting at," Woodard said.

Although a handful of Cardinals have gotten a lot of attention – including Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Milan's Cardinal Angelo Scola – Woodard said some speculate it could be time to elect a pope from Africa or Latin America, where the church is seeing a great deal of growth.

"I would not be surprised by anybody," he said.

St. Petersburg's Bishop Robert Lynch is not surprised to see that a new Pope has not been elected. "I would say that I would have been shocked if we saw white smoke today because there was only one ballot and it's kind of like the primary" said Bishop Lynch.  He is predicting a decision will be made by Thursday afternoon or Friday. 

The ‘who do you think is going to be the next pope' is a common question, said Father George Corrigan of Tampa's Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Corrigan says he doesn't have an inside line, but he does have a personal favorite in O'Malley, who wears the same plain brown Franciscan habit as Corrigan and says he heard him asked about the clothing.

"He was asked if he were pope, would he wear it? And he said, something like this, ‘I've worn it 45 years, I wear it every day, and I will be buried in it," Corrigan said. "I like the idea of, after all the pageantry of Rome and the pope, to have someone standing there in a simple Franciscan habit."

However, like Woodard, Corrigan noted the growth of the church internationally in places including Africa. Regardless of who is chosen, Corrigan said "the job shapes someone to an extent."

The 115 cardinals at the Vatican, who have taken a vow of secrecy during the process, will vote again on Wednesday.

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