Black smoke has poured out of the Sistine Chapel chimney, indicating that cardinals have failed to elect a new pope on their first try.
As the smoke billowed out of the chimney, tens of thousands of onlookers in St Peter’s Square cheered in excitement or booed in mock disappointment at the time-honoured tradition.
The eyes of the world will be fixed on the thin copper chimney in the coming days. Smoke signals will be sent out twice daily, with white smoke signifying that a new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics has been chosen.
Some 115 cardinals from around the world began the papal conclave inside the Vatican earlier on Tuesday.
The church leaders will continue voting until they reach a two thirds majority in favour of one candidate.