Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson & Deacon Keith Fournier

2/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Conclave of Cardinals will most likely start next week, between March 5th and 8th, according to an informed observer.

Our reason for starting this "Countdown to the Conclave" is simple: Let's cut through all the media hype, the spin, the deception, and focus on the basic facts about, and narrative of, the Conclave. Our first offering is FAQ -- frequently asked questions -- about a papal conclave in general and the next one specifically.

Cardinals processing

Cardinals processing

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson & Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope, papacy, conclave, cardinals, papal election, Pope Benedict XVI, Rome, Vatican City, successor of peter, Deal W Hudson, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Our reason for starting this "Countdown to the Conclave" is simple: Let's cut through all the media hype, the spin, the deception, and focus on the basic facts about, and narrative of, the Conclave. Our first offering is FAQ -- frequently asked questions -- about a papal conclave in general and the next one specifically. Here we go:

When will the Conclave be held?

The Conclave of Cardinals will most likely start next week, between March 5th and 8th, according to an informed observer. Vatican law requires a Conclave commence 15 to 20 days after the papacy becomes vacant.

How long will the Conclave last?

The Conclave will probably last one to three days. Benedict XVI was elected on the 4th ballot in 2005. The last Conclave to go more than five days was in 1831, which lasted 54 days.

How many cardinals will be voting?

Of the more than 200 cardinals attending the Conclave only those who are under 80 years of age are eligible, approximately 115. At least one cardinal is not attending: Cardinal Keith O'Brien has chosen to stay away because of allegations of improper relations with other priests.

What is the general make-up of the cardinals who are voting?

The United States will represent 9.4 percent of those voting. Europe will have 52 percent, Italy 24 percent, and 34 percent of the cardinals will come from third world countries -- Latin America will send 16 percent, Africa 9.4 percent, and the same percent will come from Asia. The average age of those voting is 72.

Where is the Conclave held?

The Conclave is held in various sites throughout the Vatican: the cardinals will first assemble in St. Peter's Basilica, then gather again in the Pauline Chapel before proceeding to the Sistine Chapel (singing the Veni Creator Spiritus.) The voting itself is held in the Sistine Chapel under the magnificent painted ceiling of Michelangelo.

How does the voting proceed?

The first ballot may be held on the afternoon of the first day. But if no one is elected or no ballot is held, four ballots are held on each day following, two in the morning, two in the afternoon.  If there is no result after three days, a day of prayer and address by the Senior Cardinal Deacon is held, followed by seven further ballots.  If there is still no result, another day of prayer and an address by the senior Cardinal Priest can be called.  If there is no result after another seven ballots, the senior Cardinal Bishop makes the address on a day of prayer. If seven more ballots do not elect a pope, there will be a day of prayer, followed by a balloting on only two names -- those having received the most votes in the last ballot.

How many votes are needed to elect a new pope?

According to the procedures formalized by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, as modified on February 25, 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI in his apostlolic letter issued motu propio,(on his own authority), Regarding the Election of the Roman Pontiff,
a two-thirds supermajority vote is required to elect the new pope. Acceptance from the person elected is also a requirement.

What happens when a new pope is elected?

The Cardinal Dean meets with the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebration, and the Cardinal Dean asks the pope-elect if he accepts: "Acceptasne electionem de te canonice factam in Summum Pontificem?"or "Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?" (Only one pope-elect in modern times has said "no," Giovanni Colombo in October, 1978.) If he accepts, the new pope immediately takes office, unless he is not a bishop and must be consecrated before assuming office.  A priest or a lay person can be elected and would require intermediate steps before becoming pope.

What does the "white smoke" mean?

White smoke signifies a new pope has been elected, black smoke signals there has been no result. Since 1963 chemicals have been added to insure there is no misunderstanding. In 1958 there was confusion when the smoke did not appear either white or black.

When does the new pope choose his name?

After the pope-elect accepts, the Cardinal Dean asks him about his papal name, "Quo nomine vis vocari?" or "By what name do you wish to be called?" After the new pope chooses his name, he returns to the Conclave and the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies releases a document declaring the new name of the pope.

What happens at the end of the Conclave?

The new pope goes to a small room next to the Sistine Chapel, the "Room of Tears", and dresses himself, choosing a set of pontifical choir robes -- white cassock, rochet and red mozzetta  -- from three sizes provided. The new pope puts on a gold corded pectoral cross, a red embroidered stole, and wears a white zucchetto on his head. The senior Cardinal Deacon comes out on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and proclaims the new pope's name, beginning with "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! or "I announce to you a great joy: We have a new Pope!" The new pope then comes out and gives his first apostolic blessing.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis Gives Direction to Charismatic Renewal and New Movements Watch

Image of Pope Francis at the last Pentecost Sunday Mass. Included in the massive crowd were members of the diverse ecclesial movements from around the world.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 22, 2014, Pope Francis addressed a Congress sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It brought together new movements and communities in the Catholic Church - from across the globe. These movements are not only flourishing, but multiplying ... continue reading


If backed into a corner will Putin come out swinging? On the eve of Russia's great depression Europe braces for violent repercussions Watch

Image of Some analysts fear that Russia could default on its foreign debt, even worse, a depression may force Vladimir Putin to take an aggressive and expansionist stance in Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The sharply declining price of a barrel of oil and the harsh sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe have created a perfect storm for Russia's weak economy. The ruble has fallen fast, and the financial crisis that faces Russia is quickly spiraling out of ... continue reading


Singing nun Sister Cristian Scucccia fulfills lifelong dream to meet Pope Francis Watch

Image of Sister Cristina is slated to perform at the Vatican's Christmas concert later this week, along with American punk singer Patti Smith.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Sister Cristina Scuccia, whose cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" has gathered more than four million views on YouTube, has fulfilled her longtime dream of meeting Pope Francis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Meeting Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, she ... continue reading


Sexual predator nabbed trying to lure teenage girls off social media sites Watch

Image of Prosecutor Mary McCarthy said Wood sent explicit pictures to girls and, in some cases, arranged to meet them. He had full sexual intercourse with five of the girls. Some of the offenses occurred while he was on bail.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yeovil man, in Great Britain has been arrested on numerous sex charges. Twenty-year-old Jacob Wood is accused of grooming "vulnerable" teenage girls for sex through social media sites. Wood has been spared a prison sentence after a judge said it would not ... continue reading


'We may not live through these days': Is Mikhail Gorbachev warning that the crisis in Ukraine could turn into World War III? Watch

Image of Former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who has long been hailed as one of the leading architects in ending the Cold War is now warning that the world may be facing the potential of war if Russian and American leaders are unwilling to back down.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is no secret that relations between the United States-and its allies in Europe-and Russia have chilled to levels unseen since the end of the Cold War over the ongoing civil war in Ukraine. What is surprising is just who is issuing a warning about the potential ... continue reading


Plight of boat people worldwide addressed by United Nations Watch

Image of

By Katie Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more people than ever are embarking on risky sea crossings in search of asylum or a better life, the United Nations said on Wednesday. GENEVA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... continue reading


Indian, Pakistani accept Nobel Peace Prizes Watch

Image of Both Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, from India accepted their Nobel Peace Prizes in Norway.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

India and Pakistan are longtime international rivals. This didn't prevent a Pakistani teenage advocate for women's education and an Indian child rights campaigner from receiving Nobel Peace Prizes. Both Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, ... continue reading


VATICAN AT RISK OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION as Islamic State smuggles dirty bomb into Europe Watch

Image of Vatican City may be a primary target for the Islamic State's dirty bomb.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A weapons maker for the Islamic State has posted a chilling warning to the world, claiming that a radioactive device, known as a "dirty bomb" has been successfully smuggled into Europe. This suggests that a radiological bombing could be imminent. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'ISIS killers are monsters and cowards,' widow of slain British aid worker says Watch

Image of

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The widow of a 44-year-old British aid worker David Haines, who was murdered by Islamic State extremists has denounced his killers "cowards." Dragana Haines, whose husband David was killed by the militants in a graphic video posted online last September, says she still ... continue reading


Has the Islamic State moved on to Russia? 16 dead in Islamist attack! Watch

Image of 16 people have died, and 21 more were injured during an attack in the capital of Chechnya by Islamic militants.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least 16 people are dead in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, following an early morning attack on a police checkpoint, media building and school by rebel gunmen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack occurred at 1:00 a.m. (local time) on December 4, and ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter