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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Evolution of white and black smoke for conclave down to chemical mixture

2013-03-13

Black smoke means no election has been made, while the white smoke is the sign that the Church has a new Pope. For this upcoming conclave, there will be two stoves.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesperson

"One is to truly burn the ballots and the other to send the some that is seen outside. Because as you can imagine, if the smoke were only from the burning ballots themselves, it would not be enough.”

What is used instead is two chemical mixtures. One is designed to send up white smoke up the chimney, while the other sends it black. But often times, the smoke instead ends up a greyish color.
For past conclaves, before the use of chemical mixtures, the burned ballots alone would produce the black smoke. To have it turn white, the cardinals would use hay.

But with the attention of the world's media zeroed in on the chimney smoke, Vatican officials recognize newer methods are needed to send stronger, clearer signals on the next Pope's elections. During the last conclave, they used bells that rang across St. Peter's Square.


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