Not that anyone truly expected the first day to produce a new pontiff.
Black smoke has poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling that cardinals have failed to elect a pope on their first try.
The cardinals held the first day of the conclave Tuesday deeply divided over the problems of the church and who best among them could fix them following the stunning resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican made clear it didn't expect a winner on the first ballot.
The cardinals now return to the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel for the night. They return to the Apostolic Palace for Mass Wednesday morning and a new round of voting.
I don't know how "deeply divided" the cardinals truly are, but they went into the conclave with no hands-down favorite. It is going to take a couple of days for these 115 princes of the church to be guided by the Holy Spirit into selecting the next occupant of the Chair of St. Peter.
Here's a list of favorites -- a long one. As many as are on the list, I suspect that it contains the next Bishop of Rome. My personal favorites among them are Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Brazilian Cardinal Odilio Scherer and American Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley.
My ultimate prediction is that we will not see a European elected this time around, that we will see someone with an attractive personality more on the order of Pope John Paul the Great than Benedict XVI, and that the name chose will be either Leo XIV or Gregory XVII. I think it is unlikely that we will see the new pope take the names John Paul III, John XXIV, or Paul VII, given the connections to recent popes, nor do I think that Pius XIII is likely because of the connection to the ultraconservative Pius X and to Pius XII, whose reputation has long been unfairly attacked by some. In the event that Ghanan Cardinal Peter Turkson is elected, I suspect that we might see him take the name Gelasius III, given that St. Gelasius I was the last African pope.