Electing a Pope: Cardinal Describes Weight of Conclave Vote

"Nightline's" Terry Moran travels with Cardinal Justin Rigali as he heads to his second conclave vot
5:26 | 03/12/13

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Transcript for Electing a Pope: Cardinal Describes Weight of Conclave Vote
Well while Pope Benedict departed with the help of a helicopter and Twitter. We got an update on the search for his successor in the age old form of smoke signals today black smoke signifying a lack of cardinal consensus in the Vatican. But among the faithful in Rome waiting for that smoke to turn white as my co -- Terry Moran at the papal conclave Terry. Greetings from -- bill what a day it was here you -- Feel the weight of history in the air the overriding suspense in this city who will be the next Pope. Today that secret and mysterious process to choose the next Pope began it was just really an awesome day. Storm clouds gathered over saint Peter's basilica almost as if god himself wanted to somber setting for a solemn day. In the history of the Catholic -- Inside the cardinals and symbolically all the faithful gathered for one last -- A reminder -- -- the mighty space of saint Peter's that this whole election in the -- Catholics. Is a kind of worship kind of prayer to pick the next Pope. Outside in -- square a few pilgrims some Romans and the curious gathered in the afternoon gloom waiting for this moment. To -- In solemn procession singing the -- of the saints the 115. Cardinals who will choose the next Pope. Left the Pauline chapel. The Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo's frescoes and their awesome responsibility. Awaited. A scene of such splendor where millions come to gaze up in wonder each year now transformed as it has been so often before. The birthplace. One of these men will be chosen. There was Angeles -- -- Milan or visual arts and go but the rookies made the favorite. Peter Turks and -- Christopher -- sort of Austria. -- low Scherer of Brazil. All had their supporters and the Americans running Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston. Timothy Dolan New York. And they're two among the men who will make this vote cardinal Justin -- Ghali former archbishop of Philadelphia. His journey to Rome began -- Weeks ago the small city of Knoxville Tennessee where he's retired and we went with him. She prepared for his second conclave he voted -- -- election back in 2005. This was the pen that I use actually invoking could hope the last -- around. What's -- like. Being that magnificent room. This legislation talking. Independence. Or trying to make it into something political. It's a fact that. The people -- asking god. To raise a man who will who remain a man and will be a weren't -- use. The church. -- -- Ali's journey began amid the faithful Knoxville a public prayer service with a thousand high school students and community members. He was cheered like a rock star at the airports. Playing and at a layover in Atlanta I met up with him next stop room. Having just arrived do you have in your heart. And ideas -- powerful. -- different. It can't be done. Before you go -- Aside -- you have to deal. Last week -- -- joined the other cardinals to say farewell to Pope Benedict. And then they get down to the real work here meetings and more meetings where -- politics happen. In the coffee breaks to. The coffee breaks -- art component and gives us the opportunity. To speak to cardinals he gives us the opportunity to exchange. Our thoughts. That was the backed. She made him world but this was the reality. And deeper reality it will leave after their -- after their prayers. The simple command. Next prominence. Everybody out colloquial everybody who's not a cardinal -- And they left the staff the priests the cameras to. It's great to words were close. And they were alone in their carton over -- describes the voting as a kind of fellowship in prayer. People. Are trying to listen to the inspiration of the holy spirit returned to listen to. The wisdom is communicating and their brother cardinal. As a cold damp evening fell on the eternal city thousands waited in Saint Peter's Square straining to see that chimney atop the Sistine Chapel. The smoke signals that signify. A boat has been taken. Suddenly at 7:42 PM -- it was black smoke and inconclusive. Vote there is no hope. Up playing but wholesome dinner for the cardinals tonight we're told cost of course soups and some -- they'll talk among themselves. They're staying in a Vatican -- no phones no TVs. And then in the morning they'll go back into the Sistine Chapel. To try again.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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