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 January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Europe

GRAPHIC VIDEO on website warns away French nationals against joining Islamist State Watch

Image of Indonesia, along with France, is launching campaigns to counter recruitment among young people from Islamic State.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The French government, in the weeks following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, has released a website and video aimed at countering extremism. The video specifically targets young French Muslims who may be seduced into joining jihadist terror group Islamic ... continue reading


RUMORS OF WARS: Under-reported conflicts in world leave little hope of change Watch

Image of Fighting in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo displaced some 770,000 people in 2014.

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

While wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine make headlines in the West, around 30 other conflicts receive little press coverage, and the resulting lack of pressure for change could have serious implications for millions of people, experts say. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


Was fearsome Blackbeard the Pirate - an old softie? New evidence suggests so Watch

Image of Blackbeard the Pirate was played by Ian McShane in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blackbeard the Pirate was legendary for his ruthlessness and terrorizing shipping lanes in the West Atlantic. However - there appears to have been a kinder, gentler side to his personality as well. Wreckage culled from the Queen Anne's Revenge suggests that ... continue reading


Astonishing skull find reveals new information on interbreeding between Neanderthals and the modern man Watch

Image of The relative rarity of human fossils from this period means these ancestors of all present-day non-African modern populations have remained largely enigmatic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A skull in an Israeli cave recently is one of the earliest known evidence of primitive Europeans yet found. The archaeological find is shedding light on the migration of modern humans out of Africa. The find suggests humans and Neanderthals were interbreeding ... continue reading


Forced into prostitution: Greece's economic crisis has married women, mothers hitting streets Watch

Image of The situation of Grecian streets is worsening, as many of the Greek women now turning to prostitution don't bear even a passing resemblance to the drug-addled stereotype of the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Greece, at the heart of the European economic crisis of a few years past, has elected the "anti-austerity" organization the Syriza Party into office. Mass unemployment remains, with more than 50 percent on the nation's young people without work. An even seedier ... continue reading


The first tax revolt: 800 years later, the Magna Carta stands boldly as spiritual predecessor to the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution Watch

Image of A copy of the Magna Carta on display.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This year will mark the eighth centennial of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede near Windsor, on June 15, 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Magna Carta was one of the first documents that limited the power of the English crown, and ... continue reading


VIDEO: 70 years later, drone flies over infamous death camps showing the shocking and HORRIBLE extent of Nazi death camps Watch

Image of The gates of the Auschwitz death camp, which in English say

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In 2015, more than 1,500 survivors of the Holocaust returned to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp's liberation by Soviet troops. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On January 27, event organizers are ... continue reading


FEAR GRIPS VATICAN: 'Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope' Watch

Image of Pope Francis has frequently spoken out against the Islamic State group. The Holy See has also voiced its support for U.S. air strikes in Iraq. This has led several to think that this increases the Pope's likelihood as a terrorist target.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican is under heightened concern that a terrorist attack may be imminent. Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See, Habib Al Sadr, at the time warned that "what has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope. The ... continue reading


Is Hitler funny? Leader of far-right German party steps down over inappropriate selfie Watch

Image of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) is a German far-right group which is for deporting or denying entry for Muslims into Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks earlier this month, as well as the numerous acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims throughout Europe over the last several years, Germany is seeing a resurgence of far-right radical groups whose attitudes and ... continue reading


Incredible footage of Lamborghini crashing at 200 MILES PER HOUR! Watch

Image of A Lamborghini Huracan crashed on the M7 motorway going 208 miles per hour. Both passenger and driver survived.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hungarian police have released footage of the first ever Lamborghini Huracan crash at more than 200 miles per hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2014 it was reported that a crash over 200mph occurred. A Huracan registered in the Czech Republic hit a barrier ... 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, Deuteronomy 18:15-20
15 Yahweh your God will raise up a prophet like me; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:21-28
21 They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:32-35
32 I should like you to have your minds free from all ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 1st, 2015 Image

St. Brigid of Ireland
February 1: Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, ... 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