The foul weather in Rome had failed to break up the St Peter’s Square popewatch. Underneath a sea of umbrellas hundreds, at times thousands, of pairs of eyes remain fixed on the chapel’s chimney. On the first day of the conclave they saw only black smoke.
“A bit disappointed?” euronews asked a priest from Argentina.
“No, not disappointed, nor can we expect the outcome from one day to the next. It’s generating much expectation and we will be waiting. Who knows,” he replied.
Next to be accosted as they crossed the square were a couple of monks from Malta and we asked who they would like to see as the new pope.
“Personally I would like someone who is slightly younger, maybe, than the pope that we have had. However I do believe that it’s not the age after all that makes a difference, because as we have seen from Benedict, he has been a very good pope,” said one.
A Brazilian visitor was asked what she would make of a potential pope from her country – Sherer or Aziz?
“Nobody knows. Really, if the pope is Brazilian there will be enormous joy. Although the most important thing is that the person chosen should be best prepared in the eyes of God to lead the Church and humanity,” she said.
A group of young female Japanese tourists were only too happy to wave and smile when approached by euronews. “Why are you here?” we asked them.
“Sightseeing,” they said. A reminder that not everyone has become swept up by the papal frenzy.