Charles Reid is a professor at the University of St. Thomas, where he teaches canon law. He is also a Catholic, and is asking for prayers for the church.
For more than two hours, the drama unfolded live on every major American TV network. First, the white smoke. Then the curtains open.
Cardinals have filed into the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to elect the next pope amid deep divisions and uncertainty over who will lead the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church.