Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, May 3, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
Canonist explains 'rigid, highly formal' rules for electing pope
Catholic News Service photo
White smoke rises from the chimney above the Vatican's Sistine Chapel indicating a new pope has been elected April 19.
Catholic News Service photo
White smoke rises from the chimney above the Vatican's Sistine Chapel indicating a new pope has been elected April 19.

Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY — The voting by cardinals to elect the next pope takes place behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, following a highly detailed procedure that underwent major revisions by Blessed John Paul II and a small, but very significant change, by Pope Benedict XVI.

Under the rules, secret ballots can be cast once on the first day of the conclave, then normally twice during each subsequent morning and evening session. Except for periodic pauses, the voting continues until a new pontiff is elected with at least two-thirds of the votes.

Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, reviewed the rules with reporters at the Vatican Feb. 22.

Introducing Bishop Arrieta, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Pope Benedict at any minute might be signing a document with minor changes to the law, but the changes would make sense only if one knew the general laws for a conclave.

Many observers had expected Pope Benedict to clarify that the cardinals have the option of beginning the conclave once all the cardinals are in Rome, even if that occurs sooner than the law's required 15 days after the beginning of the "sede vacante," literally the vacant see, left by the pope's resignation.

Bishop Arrieta told reporters that in his opinion the cardinals could make that decision on their own, without a change to the law, since the law was "clearly written with a 'sede vacante' because of death in mind." However, he also said that as the church's supreme legislator, Pope Benedict, before leaving, also could set the date for the conclave, "although I have no information that he would do so."

The written rules for the conclave, which have developed in reaction to the problems -- political and moral -- that have arisen throughout history, are "rigid and highly formal," the bishop said.
For example, he said, Pope Paul VI's rules excluded cardinals who were 80 years old or older on the day the conclave began. Blessed John Paul changed the rule to 80 years on the day the papacy became vacant. The change ensured cardinals did not choose a conclave start date specifically to include or exclude a cardinal close to the age of 80.

Under current rules, only cardinals who are under the age of 80 Feb. 28, the last day of Pope Benedict's pontificate -- can vote in the conclave. There were 117 cardinals eligible, but Feb. 21 Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, the 78-year-old retired archbishop of Jakarta, announced he would not travel to Rome because of his health.

In theory, any baptized male Catholic can be elected pope, but current church law says he must become a bishop before taking office; since the 15th century, the electors always have chosen a fellow cardinal.

Each vote begins with the preparation and distribution of paper ballots by two masters of ceremonies, who are among a handful of noncardinals allowed into the chapel at the start of the session.

Then the names of nine voting cardinals are chosen at random: three to serve as "scrutineers," or voting judges; three to collect the votes of any sick cardinals who remain in their quarters at the Domus Sanctae Marthae; and three "revisers" who check the work of the scrutineers.

The paper ballot is rectangular. On the top half is printed the Latin phrase "Eligo in Summum Pontificem" ("I elect as the most high pontiff"), and the lower half is blank for the writing of the name of the person chosen.

After all of the noncardinals have left the chapel, the cardinals fill out their ballots secretly, legibly and fold them twice. Meanwhile, any ballots from sick cardinals are collected and brought back to the chapel.

Each cardinal then walks to the altar, holding up his folded ballot so it can be seen, and says aloud: "I call as my witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who before God I think should be elected." He places his ballot on a plate, or paten, then slides it into an urn or large chalice.

When all of the ballots have been cast, the first scrutineer shakes the urn to mix them. He then transfers the ballots to a new urn, counting them to make sure they correspond to the number of electors.

The ballots are read out. Each of the three scrutineers examines each ballot one-by-one, with the last scrutineer calling out the name on the ballot, so all the cardinals can record the tally. The last scrutineer pierces each ballot with a needle through the word "Eligo" and places it on a thread, so they can be secured.

After the names have been read out, the votes are counted to see if someone has obtained the two-thirds majority needed for election. The revisers then double-check the work of the scrutineers for possible mistakes.

At this point, any handwritten notes made by the cardinals during the vote are collected for burning with the ballots. If the first vote of the morning or evening session is inconclusive, a second vote normally follows immediately, and the ballots from both votes are burned together at the end.

When a pope is elected, the ballots are burned immediately. The ballots are burned with chemical additives to produce white smoke when a pope has been elected; they are burned with other chemicals to produce black smoke when the voting has been inconclusive.

The conclave is organized in blocks: three days of voting, then a pause of up to one day, followed by seven ballots and a pause, then seven more ballots and a pause, and seven more ballots.

Slightly changing the rules in 2007, Pope Benedict said that after about 33 or 34 ballots without an election -- about 12 or 13 days into the conclave -- the cardinals must move to a run-off between the top two vote-getters. The two candidates may not participate in the voting, Bishop Arrieta said, and one of them is elected only once he obtains more than two-thirds of the vote.





Advanced Search













Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved