Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson & Deacon Keith Fournier

2/27/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Europe

Jihadi John's father calls son 'dog, an animal and a terrorist' Watch

Image of The elder Emwazi told the colleague that he had emphatically rejected his eldest son during a phone call in 2013 from Turkey when he had asked his parents' blessing for a trip to Syria to fight as a jihadist.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Describing his son as a "dog, an animal and a terrorist," the father of dreaded Islamic State terrorist "Jihadi John," 51-year-old father of Mohammed Emwazi, Jassem Emwazi is giving the world a new view into one of the world's top villains. According to Jassem, ... continue reading


European leaders warn Putin to back down: Threaten more sanctions if Ukraine ceasefire is violated Watch

Image of While the February 12 ceasefire seems to be holding for the moment. European leaders warn that should violence resume, the international community will have no choice but to implement further sanctions against Russia.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the current ceasefire agreement is apparently holding in Ukraine, European leaders and President Obama warned Russia that they would come down hard and slap on a new round of economic sanctions if the ceasefire was violated. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


TERROR THREAT VERY REAL: Vatican Inspector General says security on high alert Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inspector General of the Vatican's police force, Domenico Giani says that he is unaware of any plan to attack the Vatican or Pope Francis, but the threat of terrorism remains very real - and that security remains on very high alert there. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Mass grave discovered underneath Paris supermarket Watch

Image of The bodies were discovered in eight graves, according to a news release from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Renovations being made to an existing Paris supermarket have uncovered a mass grave with more than 200 skeletons. Excavators turned over the grisly discovery to archaeologists in order to learn the historical answers to the grisly mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


IT'S NOT REALLY OVER: Russian-backed rebels use ceasefire to rearm for grand offensive Watch

Image of Ukrainian rebels have been using the ceasefire to rearm and train for future attacks against Ukrainian army forces.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite a five party ceasefire agreement signed in February, there is no peace in Ukraine, and further bloodshed appears to be on the horizon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russian-backed rebels are using the ceasefire to regroup, rearm and train for another ... continue reading


Hook, line, sinker! Woman sends over $1 MILLION to man she's never met Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Is it possible to fall in love online or over the telephone? Obviously, as a woman, identified only as "Sarah" told Dr. Phil, she sent a man she's never met over ONE MILLION DOLLARS, in the 18 months they've been emailing and calling each other. She is certain ... continue reading


REVEALED AT LAST: Dreaded 'Jihadi John,' ISIS murderer, has face shown in college portrait Watch

Image of Jihadi John's college photo shows him with a solemn expression - hinting at the inhumanity to come.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former London resident Mohammed Emwazi, who would go on to worldwide infamy as  "Jihadi John," Islamist State's most notorious executioner has had his college portrait released. Emwazi sports a Pittsburgh Pirates cap, reportedly for his University of ... continue reading


France uneasy as drones spotted over U.S. Embassy, landmarks - Terrorists suspected Watch

Image of Soldiers guard several sites in Paris as the threat of terror attacks grows.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

French officials are worried that a terror attack may be imminent in Paris after drones were spotted flying over several landmarks including the U.S. Embassy. Police were unable to locate the operators. PARIS, FRANCE (Catholic Online) - The AFP is reporting that for ... continue reading


U.S. soldiers dare Putin just 300 yards from Russian border Watch

Image of A U.S. Army armored personal carrier during a military parade in Estonia to mark the nation's independence day.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sign of growing tension in Europe, and possibly a warning to Russia occurred in the Baltic nation of Estonia, as it marked its independence day with a military parade that prominently featured troops and equipment from NATO forces - including U.S. troops - that ... continue reading


Former Russian soldier reveals that Putin has sent troops into Ukraine! Watch

Image of Moscow denied that Russian soldiers were in Crimea when it was taken, but that proved to be a lie.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ceasefire that was agreed to in Minsk by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia did not last even a day before Russian supported rebels broke it by shelling the besieged town of Debaltseve which prompted a withdrawal of Ukraine forces. LOS ... 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, Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 5th, 2015 Image

St. John Joseph of the Cross
March 5: St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the ... 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