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Reporting From Rome: No One Surprised To See Black Smoke

By Lisa Hughes, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes Lisa Hughes
Emmy Award-winning journalist Lisa Hughes is a news anchor for WBZ-TV...
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ROME (CBS) – No one was surprised to see black smoke pouring from the Sistine Chapel this afternoon (Boston time) but it was incredible to watch–in real time–as cardinals swore an oath of secrecy in the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican has never provided a live look at that part of the process before. Many people, including Vatican-watchers and priests living in Rome, say the American cardinals participating in this conclave deserve credit for encouraging more openness and transparency in the Vatican.

There weren’t big crowds in St. Peter’s Square today largely because the weather was dreadful. Rain, hail, thunder and lightning. I hate to complain about anything in Rome. But today’s forecast lived up to its lousy promise.

We (producer Ken Tucci, photographer Aaron Strader and I) are sharing a small workspace with crews from KYW-TV in Philadelphia and WFOR-TV in Miami. There is a really nice camaraderie in the room and we’ve had more than a few laughs between deadlines.

WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes reports

Among the crowd at St. Peter’s Square Tuesday was a family from Wellesley. Dr. Mary Mullen and Dr. Hal Burstein and their daughters, Ellen and Katie, actually celebrated mass in St. Peter’s Basilica with the cardinals this morning. To some extent, they have turned their family holiday into a pilgrimage.

I have a feeling this is going to be a short conclave. Cardinals have had a lot of time to talk and pray. I am guessing we have a pope tomorrow evening or Thursday morning.

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