Black Smoke Signals No Pope After Third Ballot

Cardinals fail to elect a new pope as black smoke emerges from Sistine Chapel's chimney.
5:30 | 03/13/13

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Transcript for Black Smoke Signals No Pope After Third Ballot
This is an ABC news special report live from ABC news. The papal conclave. Choosing good -- -- I'm Josh -- hearing in Vatican City as you can see just behind me. Massive crowd has gathered in Saint Peter's Square. To see the smoke pouring from that temporary chimney affixed atop the Sistine Chapel where the conclave is currently under way. We cannot tell at this point if that smoke. Is black or white if they have failed to reach a two thirds majority and -- consensus or if we do in fact have histories 266. Hope. We're joined. By John Davis author of the Vatican diaries Cokie Roberts. And archbishop Wilton Gregory of the archdiocese of Atlanta and Jon Davis I want to ask you. If this is in fact white smoke that we're seeing it would suggest a rather quick consensus had been reached what -- Mike that suggest to you about who will see. Walked out on that scarlet draped balcony and a fronting a saint Peter's basilica. Well you're right it's difficult to tell is this lakers' this way suddenly looks a whiter than a few seconds ago. I think it would it would be very surprising to everyone. If this is white smoke at this -- point in the conclave and it would indicate that. Probably one of the three or four front runners actually gained enough traction in the initial ballots to go over the top quite early. And I think what we're talking about here is cardinal -- Milan cardinal will that Canada as the Vatican official. And perhaps cardinals share of Brazil those three people probably. Are the ones who had a chance to be elected this early. We -- we should repeat it is hard to tell if the smoke is in fact white or black it -- Actually affecting the rather gray color right now Cokie reminiscence of course of both the conclave -- 2005. And 1978. Win. It did that confuse world's media and those -- here in Saint Peter's Square. And again that we should also point out -- we are not hearing the bells peeled but. Tell you with the crowds here gathered with their umbrellas. What their umbrellas up it is. Saint Peter's Square -- turned into a giant kaleidoscope -- we all. -- to look into this giant video screens again -- in the square itself. Yes I had the square is always just a moment. When these elections are taking place and particularly when his suspense film like this. It looks more black than white to me. And I and we are not hearing the -- but of course we didn't hear the bells for a while in 2005. So it's it's hard to know whether -- when they -- you could be having a moment here. But -- it I suspect we don't have a -- yet. Again we should point out also in 1978 when the smoke actually. Had been spewing forth whites at night it did appear perhaps that. It was black and so the crowds in Saint Peter's Square actually started gathering their things promoting the -- that they would have to wait before they heard the bells. Calling everybody back to greet the new Pope. -- do you say we you believe we don't have a -- and we should out now mentioned that there is no more smoke pouring. Up from inside and -- we see more smoke and again it does appear. A dark gray. So John Davis if we assume that this is black if we assume that no consensus has been reached reading your blog today. A very important moment could didn't happen. If we see. The cardinals then make their way back to Santa -- house for lunch and really the first real discussions. They can be had today. Right I think last night the first ballot gave the lay of the land we saw probably as many as fifteen cardinals getting votes at least that's what. I've been told as happened in the past. This morning I think what we're seeing is a narrowing down of the candidates and I think all of the cardinals. Want to get to the finish line here so you know I don't think they're going to be holding out for candidates. Who they feel do not have a real chance so we could see the field -- down to the top three or four or five candidates. That will be discussed over lunch and these luncheons and what happens after -- are very important. Again another round of real politicking. It would appear set to begin as we can now conclude that is. In fact black smoke pouring. From the temporary. Chimney affixed atop the Sistine Chapel as the conclave will now continue. As the cardinal electors seek consensus that two thirds majority and so the 266. Pope. In history we'll have much more coming up. Four the East Coast viewers on Good Morning America set to begin. About fifteen minutes from now and again stay here with ABC news all day long as we continue to watch that chimney. Here outside Vatican City for John Davis and Cokie Roberts on Josh Elliott thanks for joining us. This has been an ABC news special report.

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

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