‘I was in charge of the white smoke’: Interview with former Vatican engineer

The Conclave Of Cardinals Have Elected A New Pope To Lead The World's Catholics
The Conclave Of Cardinals Have Elected A New Pope.
Credit: Getty Images

Stefano Marino, former Vatican Chief Engineer, oversaw the Vatican’s 150 engineers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers.

Metro: The stoves played a huge role in world history this week. Where are they going now?

Marino: After a papal election they’re usually transported to Santa Maria di Galeria, an space outside Rome that belongs to the Vatican. The Vatican Radio transmitters are located there, and so are huge warehouses where the Vatican stores things it doesn’t need at the moment. There the Vatican also regularly tests the stoves to make sure they work properly at the next papal election. One stove is for the ballots, the other one just for the color of the smoke, but their pipes converge to one pipe that goes up through the chimney. The smoke bombs that produce the black and white color are especially for the Vatican and labelled so the wrong one won’t be used when the cardinals send up the smoke.

Now Pope Francis will move into the Papal apartment. What needs to be done before it’s ready for him?

The Papal apartment has three floors, which contain a library, meeting rooms, bedrooms and living quarters for the Pope’s assistants and the nuns who form his domestic staff. The apartment is usually refinished for each Pope, just like when people move into a new house. However, he seems like a very humble man, so I don’t think he’ll want to refurbish it a lot. The Vatican plumbers, carpenters and electricians can do almost anything without external workers. Using external help would lead to leaks and might even compromise security.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.