And He will be making his appearance within moments. Vatican watchers say that the decision was made relatively quickly, indicating a strong consensus.

 After an inconclusive first vote on Tuesday night, the 115 cardinal electors prayed for inspiration from God for a choice that can lead the Roman Catholic Church out of crisis.

Having spent the night closeted in a nearby guesthouse, the cardinals attended Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and returned to the Renaissance splendor of the Sistine Chapel to hold the two morning ballots.