Mar 20

Coat of Arms of His Holiness Pope Francis by Fr. Abe Arganiosa, OP

Pope Francis: Coat of Arms. From Wikipedia

Pope Francis: Coat of Arms. From Wikipedia

His Episcopal Motto which he chose when he was consecrated Bishop is MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO which means LOWLY YET CHOSEN. The Sun at the center with ICHTUS: Iesus Christos Huios Soter is the symbol of the Society of Jesus with the ancient Christian proclamation of Christ as JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON, THE SAVIOR.

The Star on the left signifies the Blessed Virgin as the Stella Maris [Star of the Sea] and Stella Matutina [Star of the Morning] for the presence of Mary signals in the Scriptures the coming Birth of the Messiah-King. The grape-like plant is THE NARDO which is associated with St. Joseph.

Like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI he decided not to use the Tiara for his Papal Coat of Arms but preferred the Bishop’s Mitre which shuns worldly power but instead focus his attention in his Mission as Bishop of Rome and Universal Shepherd of the Church. The Triple Line in the Mitre which forms the Petrine Cross signifies the Triple Authority handed on by Jesus to the Church and to the Blessed Peter the Apostle: TO GOVERN [King], TO TEACH [Prophet] and TO SANCTIFY [Priest] thus exercising his God-given authority as THE VICAR OF CHRIST.

Mar 20

Homily of Pope Francis in his inauguration- “protect the Church”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.
I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!
Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!
Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!
In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.
To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.  — The Vatican website, www.vatican.va

Mar 14

Habemus Papam! (We have a Pope)

POPE-WHITESMOKE Mar-13-2013 (470 words) With photos. xxxi

White smoke: Cardinals elect new pope on fifth ballot

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To the delighted surprise of many, clouds of white smoke poured from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel March 13, indicating a pope had been elected on the conclave’s fifth ballot.

The smoke signal went off at 7:05 p.m. The 115 cardinals gathered to elect the 266th successor of Peter had taken one vote late March 12 and two votes the next morning, resulting in clouds of black smoke.

The Vatican estimated it would be about an hour before Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the top-ranking cardinal deacon, would come out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and confirm the election with the phrase “Habemus papam” (We have a pope).

The white smoke comes from burning the ballots and cardinals’ notes and tallies along with special chemicals to produce abundant white smoke.

But the world did not know the identity of the new pope right away. While the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica rang out the news of the election of the new pope, he was inside the Sistine Chapel changing into papal vestments and praying with the cardinals who just elected him.

He also was scheduled to stop on his way to the balcony to pray briefly before the Blessed Sacrament in the Pauline Chapel, where the cardinals began their solemn procession into the conclave March 12.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected on the fourth ballot at the conclave in 2005, taking the name Pope Benedict XVI. Unlike eight years ago, however, most people believe there was no clear favorite going into the conclave, which led to surprise that it was over so quickly.

Two stoves, leading to one smokestack, were installed in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave. The ballots and any notes or tallies individual cardinals made are burned in one stove. The other stove burns special chemical cartridges designed to create clouds of black or white smoke for a full seven minutes.

Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters the cartridges producing black smoke have potassium perchlorate, anthracene and sulphur. Those producing white smoke have potassium chlorate, lactose and a pine resin. To improve the draught, making sure the smoke goes up and out instead of filling the Sistine Chapel with smoke as occurred in 2005, the pipes leading to the roof are pre-heated with an electrical current.

Four Catholic students from Duquesne University’s Rome campus were in the square awaiting the smoke March 13. One of them, Josh Suhey of Youngstown, Ohio, said, “We’re here to see the pope and be part of history.”

Asked about the cardinals using smoke to communicate with the outside world, another student, Concetta Staltari from Pittsburgh, said, “I think it’s great, really awesome to stick to tradition.” She said she couldn’t wait to hear the bells ring, too, with a successful election.

Mar 09

Conclave will start on March 12 to elect a new Pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Cardinal electors assembled in Rome will begin voting for the next pope March 12.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, announced the date for the start of the election, known as a conclave, in a message to reporters March 8.

The first session of voting inside the Sistine Chapel will begin in the afternoon, following a morning Mass “Pro eligendo Summo Pontifice” (“for the election of the supreme pontiff”) in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Rules governing papal elections state that a conclave must start between 15 and 20 days after the Holy See falls vacant; but shortly before his resignation Feb. 28, Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree allowing cardinal to move up the start date if they choose.

The College of Cardinals decided the date on the fifth day of its pre-conclave meetings, after waiting for the 115 cardinals eligible and expected to vote. The last to arrive in Rome was Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, who joined the others March 7.

At the morning session March 8, before announcing the scheduled vote, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, told the assembly that with the changes made by Pope Benedict, the cardinals would not have to debate on whether they were authorized to begin the conclave before March 15, Father Lombardi said.

During the same session, the cardinals chose 87-year-old Cardinal Prosper Grech, a Maltese expert in the early church fathers, to give the meditation at the beginning of the conclave.

The Vatican spokesman said that 18 cardinals spoke during the morning session. As people around the world observed International Women’s Day, one of the cardinals spoke about the role of women in the church.

Other topics included interreligious dialogue, bioethics, the church’s role in promoting justice, collegiality in the church and the need for the church’s evangelizers to proclaim God’s love and mercy.

Mar 07

Papal Resignation

Abp. Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points

“Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his Office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, though it is not necessary for it to accepted by anyone.” (Code of Canon Law: Canon 332 par.2)

 

THE above cited official and clear provision of the Code of Canon Law has special relevance these days on account of the recent development at the Vatican that received worldwide attention—plus worries and concerns on the part of the Catholic world. Many questions were asked. Some answers were given. Many worries were expressed. Certain assurances were made.

For the record as some kind of a little information, it would be in order to know and understand the above-cited legislation of, in and for the Church concretely on the matter of nothing less than the resignation of the Roman Pontiff himself, i.e., the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, the Holy Father, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome in addition to being the Head of State of the Vatican City State, Europe.

The more significant indirect and direct contents of the above Church legislation are the following: One, that it is usually nothing less than death that puts an end to a given papal tenure. Two, that Church law however has a specific provision in the event of the resignation by a ruling Pope. Three, that for its validity, the resignation should be freely or voluntarily done by the incumbent Pope himself. Four, that in order to be effective, the said resignation should be duly made public or known to those concerned. Five, that the same resignation need not be accepted by anyone, nor could it be rejected by someone whereas there is no authority in the Church higher than the Pope himself.

After the thus canonically qualified and wherefore effective resignation of a Pope, what happens in the meantime until there is a new Pope to assume the Office of the Papacy? The Code of Canon Law also provides the answer: “When the Roman See is vacant, no innovation is to be made in the governance of the universal Church.” (Canon 223).

The above canonical provision in turn simply means that while changes in the governance or administration of local Churches such as Archdiocese, Dioceses and their ecclesiastical equivalents during the vacancy of the Papal see—“sede vacante”—may be validly and licitly done by their respective Archbishops and Bishops, the governance or management of the universal Church herself remains the same until a new Pope comes to Office. It is the new succeeding incumbent Pope that then assumes the governing authority over the Church in the whole world.

Mar 07

College of Cardinals prays the Rosary in Latin for the new Pope


Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago prays the rosary before a prayer service with eucharistic adoration in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 6. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Seated under Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s statue “Chair of St. Peter,” which celebrates the teaching authority of the pope, more than 100 cardinals gathered March 6 to pray as they prepared to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

The cardinals began their prayer in St. Peter’s Basilica with the recitation of the rosary in Latin, but with the announcement of the glorious mysteries in Italian.

Although space was limited in front of the Altar of the Chair, the cardinals invited the public to join them.

Singing the eucharistic hymn “Jesus, Dulcis Memoria,” the cardinals began a period of eucharistic adoration. The first verse of the hymn in English is: “Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills the breast! Yet sweeter far thy face to see and in thy presence rest.”

Then they knelt in silent adoration.

After five full minutes, they began evening prayer, led by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the basilica.

The reading was from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.”

Among the petitions, the cardinals prayed that God, who had given Christ as the shepherd for his flock, always would ensure his people had the obedient and diligent pastors they need.

The prayer service ended with eucharistic Benediction.

Feb 26

Apostolic Letter given “motu proprio” Normas nonnullas, on some modifications of the norms concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff

__________________
APOSTOLIC LETTER
GIVEN MOTU PROPRIO
NORMAS NONNULLAS
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
BENEDICT XVI
on some modifications of the norms
concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff
__________________
[Latin typical text following this translation]
With the Apostolic Letter ‘De aliquibus mutationibus in normis de electione Romani Pontificis’ given Motu Proprio in Rome on 11 June 2007 in the third year of my pontificate, I established some norms that, rescinding those prescribed in n. 75 of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Universi Dominici Gregis’ promulgated by my predecessor Blessed John Paul II, having reestablished the regulation, sanctioned by tradition, according to which a two thirds majority of the votes of the Cardinal electors present is always required for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff.
Considering the importance of ensuring the best implementation of what is concerned, albeit with a different significance, regarding the election of the Roman Pontiff, in particular a more certain interpretation and execution of some provisions, I establish and prescribe that some norms of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Universi Dominici Gregis’, as well as what I myself set forth in the above-mentioned Apostolic Letter, be replaced with the following norms:
35. No Cardinal elector can be excluded from active or passive voice in the election of the Supreme Pontiff, for any reason or pretext, with due regard for the provisions of n. 40 and n. 75 of this Constitution.
37. I furthermore decree that, from the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant, the Cardinal electors who are present must wait fifteen full days for those who are absent before beginning the Conclave; however, the College of Cardinals is also granted the faculty to anticipate the beginning of the Conclave if all the Cardinal electors are present as well as the faculty to defer, for serious reasons, the beginning of the election for a few additional days. But when a maximum twenty days have elapsed from the beginning of the vacancy of the See, all the Cardinal electors present are obliged to proceed to the election.
43. From the beginning of the electoral process until the public announcement that the election of the Supreme Pontiff has taken place, or in any case until the new Pope so disposes, the rooms of theDomus Sanctae Marthae, and, in particular, the Sistine Chapel and the areas reserved for liturgical celebrations are to be closed to unauthorized persons, by the authority of the Cardinal Camerlengo and with the outside assistance of the Vice Camerlengo and the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, in accordance with the provisions set forth in the following Numbers.
During this period, the entire territory of Vatican City and the ordinary activity of the offices located therein shall be regulated, for the period mentioned, in a way that ensures the confidentiality and the free development of all the undertakings connected with the election of the Supreme Pontiff. In particular, provision shall be made, with the help of the Cleric Prelates of the Chamber to ensure that no one approaches the Cardinal electors while they are being transported from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Apostolic Vatican Palace.
46,  § 1°. In order to meet the personal and official needs connected with the election process, the following individuals must be available and therefore properly lodged in suitable areas within the confines mentioned in n. 43 of this Constitution: the Secretary of the College of Cardinals, who acts as Secretary of the electoral assembly; the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations with eight Masters of Ceremonies and two Religious attached to the Papal Sacristy; and an ecclesiastic chosen by the Cardinal Dean or by the Cardinal taking his place, in order to assist him in his duties.
47. All persons listed in n. 46 and n. 55,  § 2° of this Constitution who in any way or at any time should come to learn anything from any source, directly or indirectly, regarding the election process, and in particular regarding the voting which took place in the election itself, are obliged to maintain strict secrecy with all persons extraneous to the College of Cardinal electors: accordingly, before the election begins, they shall take an oath in the form and using the formula indicated in n. 48.
48. The persons listed in n. 46 and n. 55,  § 2° of this Constitution, having been duly warned about the meaning and extent of the oath that they are to take, before the start of the election process, shall, in the presence of the Cardinal Camerlengo or another Cardinal delegated by him, and in the presence of two numerary participant Apostolic Protonotaries, in due course swear and sign the oath according to the following formula:

 

“I, N.N., promise and swear that, unless I should receive a special faculty given expressly by the newly-elected Pontiff or by his successors, I will observe absolute and perpetual secrecy with all who are not part of the College of Cardinal electors concerning all matters directly or indirectly related to the ballots cast and their scrutiny for the election of the Supreme Pontiff.”

 

“I likewise promise and swear to refrain from using any audio or video equipment capable of recording anything which takes place during the period of the election within Vatican City, and in particular anything which in any way, directly or indirectly, is related to the process of the election itself.”
“I declare that I take this oath fully aware that an infraction thereof will make me subject to the penalty of excommunication ‘latae sententiae’, which is reserved to the Apostolic See.”
“So help me God and these Holy Gospels, which I touch with my hand.”
49. When the funeral rites for the deceased Pope have been celebrated according to the prescribed ritual, and everything necessary for the regular functioning of the election has been prepared, on the appointed day of the beginning of the Conclave established in conformity with the provisions of n. 37 of the present Constitution, the Cardinal electors shall meet in the Basilica of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican, or elsewhere, should circumstances warrant it, in order to take part in a solemn Eucharistic celebration with the Votive Mass ‘Pro Eligendo Papa’. This celebration should preferably take place at a suitable hour in the morning, so that in the afternoon the prescriptions of the following Numbers of this Constitution can be carried out.
50.  From the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, where they will assemble at a suitable hour in the afternoon, the Cardinal electors, in choir dress and invoking the assistance of the Holy Spirit with the chant of the ‘Veni Creator’, will solemnly proceed to the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, where the election will be held. The Vice Camerlengo, the General Auditor of the Apostolic Camera, and two members of each of the colleges of numerary participant Apostolic Protonotaries, Prelate Auditors of the Roman Rota, and Cleric Prelates of the Chamber will participate in the procession.
51,  § 2°.  It will therefore be the responsibility of the College of Cardinals, operating under the authority and responsibility of the Camerlengo, assisted by the Particular Congregation mentioned in n. 7 of the present Constitution, and with the outside assistance of the Vice Camerlengo and the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, to make all prior arrangements for the interior of the Sistine Chapel and adjacent areas to be prepared, so that an orderly election and its privacy will be ensured.
55,  § 3°. Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur, those responsible should know that they will be subject to the penalty of excommunication ‘latae sententiae’, which is reserved to the Apostolic See.
62. Since the forms of election known as ‘per acclamationem seu inspirationem’ and ‘per compromissum’ are abolished, the form of electing the Roman Pontiff shall henceforth be ‘per scrutinium’ alone.
I therefore decree that, for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff, at least two thirds of the votes are required, calculated on the basis of the total number of electors present and voting.
64. The voting process is carried out in three phases. The first phase, which can be called the pre-scrutiny, comprises: 1) the preparation and distribution of the ballot papers by the Masters of Ceremonies—called meanwhile into the Hall together with the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and with the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations—who give at least two or three to each Cardinal elector; 2) the drawing by lot, from among all the Cardinal electors, of three Scrutineers, of three persons charged with collecting the votes of the sick, called for the sake of brevity ‘Infirmarii’, and of three Revisers; this drawing is carried out in public by the junior Cardinal Deacon, who draws out nine names, one after another, of those who shall carry out these tasks; 3) if, in the drawing of lots for the Scrutineers, ‘Infirmarii’ and Revisers, there should come out the names of Cardinal electors who because of infirmity or other reasons are unable to carry out these tasks, the names of others who are not impeded are to be drawn in their place. The first three drawn will act as Scrutineers, the second three as ‘Infirmarii’, and the last three as Revisers.
70,  § 2°. The Scrutineers add up all the votes that each individual has received, and if no one has obtained at least two thirds of the votes on that ballot, the Pope has not been elected; if however it turns out that someone has obtained at least two thirds of the votes, the canonically valid election of the Roman Pontiff has taken place.
75. If the votes referred to in n. 72, 73, and 74 of the above-mentioned Constitution do not result in an election, a day will be dedicated to prayer, reflection, and discussion. In subsequent votes, in accordance with the procedure established in n. 74 of this same Constitution, only the two whose names have received the greatest number of votes in the immediately preceding ballot will have the passive electoral right. There can be no waiving of the requirement that a valid election takes place only by a qualified majority of at least two thirds of the votes of the cardinals who are present and voting. Moreover, in these ballots, the two persons who enjoy the passive electoral right lose their active electoral right.
When the election has canonically taken place, the junior Cardinal Deacon summons into the Hall of election the Secretary of the College of Cardinals, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, and two Masters of Ceremonies. The Cardinal Dean, or the Cardinal who is first in order and seniority, in the name of the whole College of electors, then asks the consent of the one elected in the following words: ‘Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?‘ And, as soon as he has received the consent, he asks him: ‘By what name do you wish to be called?’ Then the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, acting as notary and having as witnesses the two Masters of Ceremonies, draws up a document certifying acceptance by the new Pope and the name taken by him.
This document will enter into force immediately upon its publication in theOsservatore Romano.
This I do decree and establish, notwithstanding any instruction to the contrary.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on February 22,  2013, the eighth of my Pontificate.
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
[Unofficial translation provided by the Vatican Information Service, modified byRorate according to the typical text where applicable.]
[Published in L’Osservatore Romano, February 25-26, 2013, edition, p. 7. The motu proprio entered into force immediately after its publication.]

Feb 26

Canonist explains ‘rigid, highly formal’ rules for electing pope

CONCLAVE-RULES Feb-22-2013 (1,010 words) With photos posted Feb. 21. xxxi

Canonist explains ‘rigid, highly formal’ rules for electing pope


Black smoke rises from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on April 18, 2005, signaling that the cardinals had taken their first vote for a new pope, but the vote was not conclusive. (CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — 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.

Feb 22

11th CFD National Board of Governors Meeting

Feb 22

Trivia about the popes

POPES-AGES Feb-21-2013 (480 words) xxxi

Age matters: Popes elected as young as 24, as old as 81

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Benedict XVI, 85, announced his resignation, he said that “both strength of mind and body are necessary” to carry out the papal ministry in the modern world.

He was elected in 2005, just after his 78th birthday. Of the 102 popes whose exact age at election is known, Pope Benedict was one of 17 churchmen elected bishop of Rome while between the ages of 71 and 80.

Ambrogio Piazzoni, vice prefect of the Vatican Library and author of a book on the history of papal elections, distributed a sheet of “some curiosities” about elections to reporters Feb. 21, the day after briefing journalists at the Vatican.

On the topic of the age of the pope at election, he said:

– Three popes were under the age of 25. The last was Pope Gregory V, who was 24 when elected in 996.

– Seven were between 25 and 40 years old. The last was Pope Leo X, who was 37 in 1513.

– Eleven were between 41 and 50. The last was Pope Clement VII, who was elected in 1523 at the age of 44.

– 24 popes were in their 50s. The most recent was Blessed John Paul II, who was 58 years old when he began his papal ministry in 1978.

– 37 were between 61 and 70 years old. The last was Pope John Paul I, who was 65 when he began his 33-day papacy in 1978.

– Only three popes were over 80 when elected. The last, chosen by cardinals in 1406, was Pope Gregory XII. He was 81.

FAMOUS LASTS

Piazzoni also provided a list of “lasts”:

– The last pope who was not a cardinal yet when elected was Pope Urban VI in 1378.

– The last who was not even a priest yet was Pope Leo X.

– The last born in Rome was Pope Pius XII, elected in 1939. (He was also the last serving Vatican secretary of state elected.)

– The last African was Pope Gelasius, elected in 492.

– The last native of Dalmatia, an ancient Roman province, was Pope John IV in 640.

– The last Frenchman elected was Pope Gregory XI, in 1370.

– The last Greek was Pope Zachary in 741.

– The last Englishman was Pope Adrian IV in 1154.

– The last Italian was Pope John Paul I.

– The last Dutchman was Pope Adrian VI in 1522.

– The last Palestinian was Pope Theodore in 642.

– The last Pole was Pope John Paul II in 1978.

– The last Portuguese was Pope John XXI in 1276.

– The last Syrian was Pope Gregory III in 731.

– The last Spaniard was Pope Alexander VI in 1492.

– The last German was Pope Benedict XVI, elected in 2005. It had been 950 years since a German — Pope Victor II — had been elected.

END


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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
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Feb 21

Pope considering changes to papal election rules

Fr. Federico Lombardi speaks Feb. 11, 2013 about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, Feb 20, 2013 / 08:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI is considering modifying the laws that govern how a Pope is elected, given the circumstances created by his resignation.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists Feb. 20 that Pope Benedict is thinking about publishing a document to further clarify the conclave section of the Apostolic Constitution.

This means he would have to issue a motu proprio – a new set of legal regulations – before he steps down on Feb. 28. The Latin title “motu proprio” is a designation that means the document is personally signed by the Pope and is issued solely under his authority.

“I don’t know if he will deem it necessary or appropriate to elucidate the question of the opening date of the conclave,” said Fr. Lombardi today at the press office.

“It seems to me, for example, (it would include) the clarification of some details in order to be in complete agreement with another document regarding the conclave, that is, the Ordo Rituum,” he stated.

According to canon law, the conclave to elect a new Pope should take place between March 15 and 20.

But since the traditional nine days of mourning will not take place and the Pope has given 17 days notice, the election process could take place as soon as the cardinals are able to reach Rome.

“In any case, the question depends on the Pope’s judgment and if this document comes about it will be made known through the proper channels,” Fr. Lombardi added.

Feb 20

Facts about conclave

CONCLAVES-CURIOSITIES Feb-20-2013 (540 words) xxxi

Conclaves: Vatican Library official shares interesting, strange facts

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Ambrogio Piazzoni, vice prefect of the Vatican Library and author of the book, “History of Papal Elections,” shared facts and curiosities with journalists at the Vatican Feb. 20:

– Electing a pope is the main and most serious responsibility of members of the College of Cardinals. In the last several hundred years, Piazzoni said, cardinals have missed a conclave only if they were seriously ill or if they were impeded from traveling to Rome by their governments.

– The upcoming conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI “will be, technically speaking, the 75th conclave” in the history of the church, he said. He dates the conclaves — elections conducted while the cardinal-electors were closed off in a room — to Pope Boniface VIII, who was elected in 1295 and inserted the conclave rules into the Code of Canon Law.

– During World War II, Pope Pius XII, like several of his predecessors who were popes in times of war, left a document informing the College of Cardinals that if he were taken prisoner, he was no longer to be considered the pope, so the cardinals were to hold a conclave and elect a new pontiff.

– Pope Gregory XV, elected in 1621, was the last pope to be elected by “spontaneous acclamation” when all the cardinals, believed to be acting under the influence of the Holy Spirit, proclaim the same candidate to be pope. Piazzoni said almost immediately after taking office, Pope Gregory changed the conclave rules to require that such a “spontaneous acclamation” be confirmed immediately with a written ballot in the conclave.

He also was first to rule that the cardinals must cast their votes secretly, in writing, rather than verbally.

– Election by acclamation is no longer considered valid, nor is the “election by compromise” in which the cardinals, after a stalemate, unanimously decide to choose a few of their members and delegate to them the power to elect a pope. The last pope elected with that method, Piazzoni said, was Pope Clement IV in 1265 who was elected by two cardinals.

– Pope Paul VI was the pope who clarified the exact moment when a candidate becomes pope: It is the moment he accepts his election, as long as he previously had been ordained a bishop. If the cardinals choose someone who has never been ordained a bishop, the ordination takes place immediately, then the election as pope becomes valid.

– When Blessed Gregory X was elected by a cardinals meeting in Viterbo, Italy, in 1271, he was not present and he was not even a priest yet.

– Pope Nicholas II, who served in 1059-61, was the pope who ruled that only cardinals were eligible to vote to elect a pope.

– “To put an end to discord” created when two or more candidates received a similar number of votes, Pope Alexander II in 1169 established the rule that a candidate must receive a two-thirds majority to be elected.

– Pope John Paul II was the first pope to specify that a conclave must take place in the Sistine Chapel. Previous popes recommended the chapel, but throughout history the conclaves have been held in a variety of churches in Rome and elsewhere.

END


Copyright (c) 2013 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 ·202.541.3250

Feb 20

How A Pope is Elected: An Infographic

Feb 19

Lent – a time for Spiritual Combat (Pope Benedict XVI)

Audiences & Angelus > 2013-02-17 12:26:49

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus with the faithful in St Peter’s Square this Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent. Tens of thousands of pilgrims were on hand, beneath a bright and unseasonably warm Roman sky. Speaking from his window in the Apostolic Palace above the Square ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father placed the Lenten season on which the Church is embarked in the context of the Year of Faith. “In this Year of Faith,” he said, “Lent is a favorable time to rediscover the faith in God as the basic criterion of our life and the life of the Church.” The Pope went on to say that this always involves a struggle – a real spiritual combat – because the spirit of evil that is opposed to our sanctification seeks to throw us off the path that God has set out for us. Noting that it is for this reason that the Church traditionally proclaims the Gospel narrative of Christ’s temptation in the desert on the first Sunday of Lent, Pope Benedict said, “The tempter is subtle: he does not push us directly toward evil, but to a false good.” The Holy Father went on to explain that, ultimately, what is at stake in the temptations is faith. “In the decisive moments of life,” he said, “but, if we look closely, in every moment, we are at a crossroads: do we want to follow the self, or God?” It was a theme to which Pope Benedict returned during his greetings to Pilgrims in English.
Pope at Sunday Angelus: Lent a time of spiritual combat

Today we contemplate Christ in the desert, fasting, praying, and being tempted. As we begin our Lenten journey, we join him and we ask him to give us strength to fight our weaknesses. Let me also thank you for the prayers and support you have shown me in these days. May God bless all of you!
The Angelus this Sunday was the second-to-last scheduled before Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation becomes effective at 8PM Rome Time on February 28th. Rev. Mr. Raymond Donnelly of the clergy of Clogher and a seminarian at the Pontifical Irish College was one of the scores of thousands of pilgrims in the Square. “I think it is very sad to see the Holy Father retiring,” he told Vatican Radio, adding, “we pray and wish him well – and I trust in his very good judgment in this decision.”
Beginning Sunday evening, Pope Benedict is spending the week in Lenten spiritual retreat, together with members of the Curia and the Pontifical household, under the direction of the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. The Pope has no public engagements scheduled for this week.

Feb 18

Catholics urged to vote according to morals

MANILA, Feb. 17, 2013 – The crusade against the proliferation of anti-life measures is far from being over, especially now that the midterm elections are fast approaching.

 

Catholic lay organizations on Saturday called on Filipinos to vote according to morals, saying the next set of political leaders may greatly influence the moral stability of the Philippines as a predominantly Catholic nation.

Dr. Ricardo Boncan, spokesperson of Catholic Vote Philippines (CVP) and secretary of Defensores Fidei Foundation, said Filipinos must vote for politicians with “uncompromising moral principles” derived from the divine law.

Boncan, one of two speakers at a forum dubbed “Advocating Catholics to vote as Catholics: Voting in defense of life, marriage and family”  held in Greenhills, San Juan,  noted that the corruption of morals is the worst that could ever happen to a nation as it turns people to the crooked path of sinfulness.

“Corruption at its highest level is not the corruption of money. Yes, graft and corruption, malversation of funds, and stealing—masama lahat ‘yan. But the greatest of all is moral corruption. If you can corrupt a person and distort his end, anything is doable. Stealing becomes nothing,” Boncan said.

“You are free to choose [the candidates you will vote] and the best gauge is what they uphold as their moral principle. If they can give you moral principle, they can give you anything. If moral principle can be bought, it is easy to buy everything else,” he added

He urged Filipinos to look after the integrity of public officials, stressing that those who will win in the polls will be more involved in enacting laws that may not contribute to the common good of the society.

Money-dangling in congress

Boncan said that prior to the present administration’s swift passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) law, the Church and life advocates were confident that it would not get the needed support from lawmakers since many opposed its anti-life provisions.

However, what happened in reality was the opposite as the bill gained the needed support for it to be successfully passed late last year.

“In 2011, we knew they were not going to pass this bill. That is how many lawmakers are opposed to it, but unfortunately they figured out how to get the lawmakers, which is through dangling money,” he said.

Boncan also noted the high pervasiveness of moral corruption in the country, adding that voting according to Catholic virtues is an attempt to “reclaim the moral landscape of the society.”

He bemoaned the plurality of morals practiced by many lawmakers, especially when they take morality as a personalistic concept that is subjected under one’s freedom to choose.

“Morality is absolute. It is either something you ought to do or something you ought not to do,” Boncan pointed out, explaining morality as a concept with predefined standards not meant to be subjected to man’s conditional beliefs.

Church’s right and duty to provide moral judgment

He called out the population control aspect of the RH bill and said that it is not the solution for the high poverty incidence in the country.

“Why are they always fighting about the issue of promoting contraception use among the poor? Why don’t they educate them, give them jobs, or put them to vocational trainings?” he said.

Boncan also answered criticism repeatedly thrown against the Church, specifically that which asserted that it must not meddle with the current political affairs of the State.

 

“The Church has the right and duty to provide moral judgment to the temporal man whenever it is required by faith. It is our duty. You cannot tell us to keep quiet or to mind our own business because we oversee the greater good and end of man,” he pointed out.

He said that despite being misjudged as intruders to the political life, the Church strives to make the lives of lay Catholics—especially those running for public office—morally coherent.

“You could not claim [to be] a Catholic and act opposite to its morals. There can never be two parallel [kinds of] existence of the spiritual and secular life,” he said.

Boncan urged the public to go back to prayer and fight the predominance of moral corruption hounding the country.

“We need to do a lot of prayer and soul-searching. This culture of decadence is exactly what’s destroying our conscience,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

Feb 18

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS ON THE VACANCY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE AND THE ELECTION OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

JOHN PAUL II
SUPREME PONTIFF
APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION
UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS
ON THE VACANCY
OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE
AND THE ELECTION
OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

 

JOHN PAUL, BISHOP
SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD
FOR PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE

The Shepherd of the Lord’s whole flock is the Bishop of the Church of Rome, where the Blessed Apostle Peter, by sovereign disposition of divine Providence, offered to Christ the supreme witness of martyrdom by the shedding of his blood. It is therefore understandable that the lawful apostolic succession in this See, with which “because of its great pre-eminence every Church must agree”,1 has always been the object of particular attention.

Precisely for this reason, down the centuries the Supreme Pontiffs have deemed it their special duty, as well as their specific right, to establish fitting norms to regulate the orderly election of their Successor. Thus, also in more recent times, my Predecessors Saint Pius X,2 Pius XI,3 Pius XII,4 John XXIII 5 and lastly Paul VI,6 each with the intention of responding to the needs of the particular historical moment, issued wise and appropriate regulations in order to ensure the suitable preparation and orderly gathering of the electors charged, at the vacancy of the Apostolic See, with the important and weighty duty of electing the Roman Pontiff.

If I too now turn to this matter, it is certainly not because of any lack of esteem for those norms, for which I have great respect and which I intend for the most part to confirm, at least with regard to their substance and the basic principles which inspired them. What leads me to take this step is awareness of the Church’s changed situation today and the need to take into consideration the general revision of Canon Law which took place, to the satisfaction of the whole Episcopate, with the publication and promulgation first of the Code of Canon Law and subsequently of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. In conformity with this revision, itself inspired by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, I then took up the reform of the Roman Curia in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.7 Furthermore, Canon 335 of the Code of Canon Law, restated in Canon 47 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, makes clear the need to issue and constantly update the specific laws regulating the canonical provision for the Roman See, when for any reason it becomes vacant.

While keeping in mind present-day requirements, I have been careful, in formulating the new discipline, not to depart in substance from the wise and venerable tradition already established.

It is in fact an indisputable principle that the Roman Pontiff has the right to define and adapt to changing times the manner of designating the person called to assume the Petrine succession in the Roman See. This regards, first of all, the body entrusted with providing for the election of the Roman Pontiff: based on a millennial practice sanctioned by specific canonical norms and confirmed by an explicit provision of the current Code of Canon Law (Canon 349), this body is made up of the College of Cardinals of Holy Roman Church. While it is indeed a doctrine of faith that the power of the Supreme Pontiff derives directly from Christ, whose earthly Vicar he is,8 it is also certain that this supreme power in the Church is granted to him “by means of lawful election accepted by him, together with episcopal consecration”.9 A most serious duty is thus incumbent upon the body responsible for this election. Consequently the norms which regulate its activity need to be very precise and clear, so that the election itself will take place in a most worthy manner, as befits the office of utmost responsibility which the person elected will have to assume, by divine mandate, at the moment of his assent.

Confirming therefore the norm of the current Code of Canon Law (cf. Canon 349), which reflects the millennial practice of the Church, I once more affirm that the College of electors of the Supreme Pontiff is composed solely of the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church. In them one finds expressed in a remarkable synthesis the two aspects which characterize the figure and office of the Roman Pontiff:Roman, because identified with the Bishop of the Church in Rome and thus closely linked to the clergy of this City, represented by the Cardinals of the presbyteral and diaconal titles of Rome, and to the Cardinal Bishops of the suburbicarian Sees; Pontiff of the universal Church, because called to represent visibly the unseen Pastor who leads his whole flock to the pastures of eternal life. The universality of the Church is clearly expressed in the very composition of the College of Cardinals, whose members come from every continent.

In the present historical circumstances, the universality of the Church is sufficiently expressed by the College of one hundred and twenty electors, made up of Cardinals coming from all parts of the world and from very different cultures. I therefore confirm that this is to be the maximum number of Cardinal electors, while at the same time indicating that it is in no way meant as a sign of less respect that the provision laid down by my predecessor Pope Paul VI has been retained, namely, that those Cardinals who celebrate their eightieth birthday before the day when the Apostolic See becomes vacant do not take part in the election.10 The reason for this provision is the desire not to add to the weight of such venerable age the further burden of responsibility for choosing the one who will have to lead Christ’s flock in ways adapted to the needs of the times. This does not however mean that the Cardinals over eighty years of age cannot take part in the preparatory meetings of the Conclave, in conformity with the norms set forth below. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, and especially during the election of the Supreme Pontiff, they in particular should lead the People of God assembled in the Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome and in other churches in the Dioceses throughout the world, supporting the work of the electors with fervent prayers and supplications to the Holy Spirit and imploring for them the light needed to make their choice before God alone and with concern only for the “salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law”.11

It has been my wish to give particular attention to the age-old institution of the Conclave, the rules and procedures of which have been established and defined by the solemn ordinances of a number of my Predecessors. A careful historical examination confirms both the appropriateness of this institution, given the circumstances in which it originated and gradually took definitive shape, and its continued usefulness for the orderly, expeditious and proper functioning of the election itself, especially in times of tension and upheaval.

Precisely for this reason, while recognizing that theologians and canonists of all times agree that this institution is not of its nature necessary for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff, I confirm by this Constitution that the Conclave is to continue in its essential structure; at the same time, I have made some modifications in order to adapt its procedures to present-day circumstances. Specifically, I have considered it appropriate to decree that for the whole duration of the election the living-quarters of the Cardinal electors and of those called to assist in the orderly process of the election itself are to be located in suitable places within Vatican City State. Although small, the State is large enough to ensure within its walls, with the help of the appropriate measures indicated below, the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors.

At the same time, in view of the sacredness of the act of election and thus the need for it to be carried out in an appropriate setting where, on the one hand, liturgical actions can be readily combined with juridical formalities, and where, on the other, the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit, I decree that the election will continue to take place in the Sistine Chapel, where everything is conducive to an awareness of the presence of God, in whose sight each person will one day be judged.

I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself. Here too, though, I have wished to simplify the relative norms, reducing them to their essentials, in order to avoid confusion, doubts and even eventual problems of conscience on the part of those who have taken part in the election.

Finally, I have deemed it necessary to revise the form of the election itself in the light of the present-day needs of the Church and the usages of modern society. I have thus considered it fitting not to retain election by acclamation quasi ex inspiratione, judging that it is no longer an apt means of interpreting the thought of an electoral college so great in number and so diverse in origin. It also appeared necessary to eliminate election per compromissum, not only because of the difficulty of the procedure, evident from the unwieldy accumulation of rules issued in the past, but also because by its very nature it tends to lessen the responsibility of the individual electors who, in this case, would not be required to express their choice personally.

After careful reflection I have therefore decided that the only form by which the electors can manifest their vote in the election of the Roman Pontiff is by secret ballot, in accordance with the rules set forth below. This form offers the greatest guarantee of clarity, straightforwardness, simplicity, openness and, above all, an effective and fruitful participation on the part of the Cardinals who, individually and as a group, are called to make up the assembly which elects the Successor of Peter.

With these intentions, I promulgate the present Apostolic Constitution containing the norms which, when the Roman See becomes vacant, are to be strictly followed by the Cardinals whose right and duty it is to elect the Successor of Peter, the visible Head of the whole Church and the Servant of the servants of God.


PART ONE

THE VACANCY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE

CHAPTER I

THE POWERS OF THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS
DURING THE VACANCY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE

1. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the College of Cardinals has no power or jurisdiction in matters which pertain to the Supreme Pontiff during his lifetime or in the exercise of his office; such matters are to be reserved completely and exclusively to the future Pope. I therefore declare null and void any act of power or jurisdiction pertaining to the Roman Pontiff during his lifetime or in the exercise of his office which the College of Cardinals might see fit to exercise, beyond the limits expressly permitted in this Constitution.

2. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the government of the Church is entrusted to the College of Cardinals solely for the dispatch of ordinary business and of matters which cannot be postponed (cf. No. 6), and for the preparation of everything necessary for the election of the new Pope. This task must be carried out in the ways and within the limits set down by this Constitution: consequently, those matters are to be absolutely excluded which, whether by law or by practice, come under the power of the Roman Pontiff alone or concern the norms for the election of the new Pope laid down in the present Constitution.

3. I further establish that the College of Cardinals may make no dispositions whatsoever concerning the rights of the Apostolic See and of the Roman Church, much less allow any of these rights to lapse, either directly or indirectly, even though it be to resolve disputes or to prosecute actions perpetrated against these same rights after the death or valid resignation of the Pope.12 All the Cardinals are obliged to defend these rights.

4. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, laws issued by the Roman Pontiffs can in no way be corrected or modified, nor can anything be added or subtracted, nor a dispensation be given even from a part of them, especially with regard to the procedures governing the election of the Supreme Pontiff. Indeed, should anything be done or even attempted against this prescription, by my supreme authority I declare it null and void.

5. Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I decree that all power of issuing a judgment in this regard belongs to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points. I also establish that should it be necessary to discuss these or other similar questions, except the act of election, it suffices that the majority of the Cardinals present should concur in the same opinion.

6. In the same way, should there be a problem which, in the view of the majority of the assembled Cardinals, cannot be postponed until another time, the College of Cardinals may act according to the majority opinion.

 

CHAPTER II

THE CONGREGATIONS OF THE CARDINALS IN PREPARATION
FOR THE ELECTION OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

7. While the See is vacant, there are two kinds of Congregations of the Cardinals: GeneralCongregations, which include the whole College and are held before the beginning of the election, andParticular Congregations. All the Cardinals who are not legitimately impeded must attend the General Congregations, once they have been informed of the vacancy of the Apostolic See. Cardinals who, by virtue of No. 33 of this Constitution, do not enjoy the right of electing the Pope are granted the faculty of not attending these General Congregations, should they prefer.

The Particular Congregation is made up of the Cardinal Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and three Cardinals, one from each Order, chosen by lot from among the Cardinal electors already present in Rome. The office of these Cardinals, called Assistants, ceases at the conclusion of the third full day, and their place is taken by others, also chosen by lot and having the same term of office, also after the election has begun.

During the time of the election, more important matters are, if necessary, dealt with by the assembly of the Cardinal electors, while ordinary affairs continue to be dealt with by the Particular Congregation of Cardinals. In the General and Particular Congregations, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Cardinals are to wear the usual black cassock with piping and the red sash, with skull-cap, pectoral cross and ring.

8. The Particular Congregations are to deal only with questions of lesser importance which arise on a daily basis or from time to time. But should there arise more serious questions deserving fuller examination, these must be submitted to the General Congregation. Moreover, anything decided, resolved or refused in one Particular Congregation cannot be revoked, altered or granted in another; the right to do this belongs solely to the General Congregation, and by a majority vote.

9. The General Congregations of Cardinals are to be held in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican or, if circumstances demand it, in another place judged more suitable by the Cardinals. At these Congregations the Dean of the College presides or, should he be absent or lawfully impeded, the Subdean. If one or both of these, in accordance with No. 33 of this Constitution, no longer enjoy the right of electing the Pope, the assembly of the Cardinal electors will be presided over by the senior Cardinal elector, according to the customary order of precedence.

10. Votes in the Congregations of Cardinals, when more important matters are concerned, are not to be expressed by word of mouth but in a way which ensures secrecy.

11. The General Congregations preceding the beginning of the election, which are therefore called “preparatory”, are to be held daily, beginning on the day which shall be fixed by the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and the senior Cardinal of each of the three Orders among the electors, and including the days on which the funeral rites for the deceased Pope are celebrated. In this way the Cardinal Camerlengo can hear the opinion of the College and communicate whatever is considered necessary or appropriate, while the individual Cardinals can express their views on possible problems, ask for explanations in case of doubt and make suggestions.

12. In the first General Congregations provision is to be made for each Cardinal to have available a copy of this Constitution and at the same time to have an opportunity to raise questions about the meaning and the implementation of its norms. The part of the present Constitution regarding the vacancy of the Apostolic See should also be read aloud. At the same time the Cardinals present are to swear an oath to observe the prescriptions contained herein and to maintain secrecy. This oath, which shall also be taken by Cardinals who arrive late and subsequently take part in these Congregations, is to be read aloud by the Cardinal Dean or by whoever else presides over the College by virtue of No. 9 of this Constitution, in the presence of the other Cardinals and according to the following formula:

We, the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, of the Order of Bishops, of Priests and of Deacons, promise, pledge and swear, as a body and individually, to observe exactly and faithfully all the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, and to maintain rigorous secrecy with regard to all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff or those which, by their very nature, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, call for the same secrecy.

Next, each Cardinal shall add: And I, N. Cardinal N., so promise, pledge and swear. And, placing his hand on the Gospels, he will add: So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I now touch with my hand.

13. In one of the Congregations immediately following, the Cardinals, on the basis of a prearranged agenda, shall take the more urgent decisions regarding the beginning of the election. In other words:

a) they shall fix the day, hour and manner in which the body of the deceased Pope shall be brought to the Vatican Basilica in order to be exposed for the homage of the faithful;

b) they shall make all necessary arrangements for the funeral rites of the deceased Pope, to be celebrated for nine consecutive days, determining when they are to begin, in such a way that burial will take place, except for special reasons, between the fourth and sixth day after death;

c) they shall see to it that the Commission, made up of the Cardinal Camerlengo and the Cardinals who had formerly held the offices of Secretary of State and President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, ensures that the rooms of the Domus Sanctae Marthae are made ready for the suitable lodging of the Cardinal electors, that rooms suitable for those persons men- tioned in No. 46 of the present Constitution are also made ready, and that all necessary arrangements are made to prepare the Sistine Chapel so that the election process can be carried out in a smooth and orderly manner and with maximum discretion, according to the provisions laid down in this Constitution;

d) they shall entrust to two ecclesiastics known for their sound doctrine, wisdom and moral authority the task of presenting to the Cardinals two well-prepared meditations on the problems facing the Church at the time and on the need for careful discernment in choosing the new Pope; at the same time, without prejudice to the provisions of No. 52 of this Constitution, they shall fix the day and the time when the first of these meditations is to be given;

e) they shall approve — at the proposal of the Administration of the Apostolic See or, within its competence, of the Governatorato of Vatican City State — expenses incurred from the death of the Pope until the election of his successor;

f) they shall read any documents left by the deceased Pope for the College of Cardinals;

g) they shall arrange for the destruction of the Fisherman’s Ring and of the lead seal with which Apostolic Letters are despatched;

h) they shall make provision for the assignment of rooms by lot to the Cardinal electors;

i) they shall set the day and hour of the beginning of the voting process.

 

CHAPTER III

CONCERNING CERTAIN OFFICES DURING THE VACANCY
OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE

14. According to the provisions of Article 6 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus,13 at the death of the Pope all the heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia — the Cardinal Secretary of State and the Cardinal Prefects, the Archbishop Presidents, together with the members of those Dicasteries — cease to exercise their office. An exception is made for the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and the Major Penitentiary, who continue to exercise their ordinary functions, submitting to the College of Cardinals matters that would have had to be referred to the Supreme Pontiff.

Likewise, in conformity with the Apostolic Constitution Vicariae Potestatis (No. 2 § 1),14 the Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome continues in office during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, as does the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica and Vicar General for Vatican City for his jurisdiction.

15. Should the offices of Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church or of Major Penitentiary be vacant at the time of the Pope’s death, or should they become vacant before the election of his successor, the College of Cardinals shall as soon as possible elect the Cardinal, or Cardinals as the case may be, who shall hold these offices until the election of the new Pope. In each of the two cases mentioned, election takes place by a secret vote of all the Cardinal electors present, with the use of ballots distributed and collected by the Masters of Ceremonies. The ballots are then opened in the presence of the Camerlengo and of the three Cardinal Assistants, if it is a matter of electing the Major Penitentiary; if it is a matter of electing the Camerlengo, they are opened in the presence of the said three Cardinals and of the Secretary of the College of Cardinals. Whoever receives the greatest number of votes shall be elected and shall ipso facto enjoy all the relevant faculties. In the case of an equal number of votes, the Cardinal belonging to the higher Order or, if both are in the same Order, the one first created a Cardinal, shall be appointed. Until the Camerlengo is elected, his functions are carried out by the Dean of the College or, if he is absent or lawfully impeded, by the Subdean or by the senior Cardinal according to the usual order of precedence, in conformity with No. 9 of this Constitution, who can without delay take the decisions that circumstances dictate.

16. If during the vacancy of the Apostolic See the Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome should die, the Vicegerent in office at the time shall also exercise the office proper to the Cardinal Vicar in addition to the ordinary vicarious jurisdiction which he already holds.15 Should there not be a Vicegerent, the Auxiliary Bishop who is senior by appointment will carry out his functions.

17. As soon as he is informed of the death of the Supreme Pontiff, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church must officially ascertain the Pope’s death, in the presence of the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, of the Cleric Prelates of the Apostolic Camera and of the Secretary and Chancellor of the same; the latter shall draw up the official death certificate. The Camerlengo must also place seals on the Pope’s study and bedroom, making provision that the personnel who ordinarily reside in the private apartment can remain there until after the burial of the Pope, at which time the entire papal apartment will be sealed; he must notify the Cardinal Vicar for Rome of the Pope’s death, whereupon the latter shall inform the People of Rome by a special announcement; he shall notify the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica; he shall take possession of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican and, either in person or through a delegate, of the Pal- aces of the Lateran and of Castel Gandolfo, and exercise custody and administration of the same; he shall determine, after consulting the heads of the three Orders of Cardinals, all matters concerning the Pope’s burial, unless during his lifetime the latter had made known his wishes in this regard; and he shall deal, in the name of and with the consent of the College of Cardinals, with all matters that circumstances suggest for safeguarding the rights of the Apostolic See and for its proper administration. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church has the duty of safeguarding and administering the goods and temporal rights of the Holy See, with the help of the three Cardinal Assistants, having sought the views of the College of Cardinals, once only for less important matters, and on each occasion when more serious matters arise.

18. The Cardinal Major Penitentiary and his Officials, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, can carry out the duties laid down by my Predecessor Pius XI in the Apostolic Constitution Quae Divinitus of 25 March 1935,16 and by myself in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.17

19. The Dean of the College of Cardinals, for his part, as soon as he has been informed of the Pope’s death by the Cardinal Camerlengo or the Prefect of the Papal Household, shall inform all the Cardinals and convoke them for the Congregations of the College. He shall also communicate news of the Pope’s death to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See and to the Heads of the respective Nations.

20. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, the Secretary for Relations with States and the Secretaries of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia remain in charge of their respective offices, and are responsible to the College of Cardinals.

21. In the same way, the office and attendant powers of Papal Representatives do not lapse.

22. The Almoner of His Holiness will also continue to carry out works of charity in accordance with the criteria employed during the Pope’s lifetime. He will be dependent upon the College of Cardinals until the election of the new Pope.

23. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, all the civil power of the Supreme Pontiff concerning the government of Vatican City State belongs to the College of Cardinals, which however will be unable to issue decrees except in cases of urgent necessity and solely for the time in which the Holy See is vacant. Such decrees will be valid for the future only if the new Pope confirms them.

 

CHAPTER IV

FACULTIES OF THE DICASTERIES OF THE ROMAN CURIA DURING
THE VACANCY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE

24. During the period of vacancy, the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, with the exception of those mentioned in No. 26 of this Constitution, have no faculty in matters which, Sede plena, they can only deal with or carry out facto verbo cum Sanctissimo or ex Audientia Sanctissimi or vigore specialium et extraordinariarum facultatum which the Roman Pontiff is accustomed to grant to the Prefects, Presidents or Secretaries of those Dicasteries.

25. The ordinary faculties proper to each Dicastery do not, however, cease at the death of the Pope. Nevertheless, I decree that the Dicasteries are only to make use of these faculties for the granting of favours of lesser importance, while more serious or controverted matters, if they can be postponed, shall be exclusively reserved to the future Pope. If such matters admit of no delay (as for example in the case of dispensations which the Supreme Pontiff usually grants in articulo mortis), they can be entrusted by the College of Cardinals to the Cardinal who was Prefect until the Pope’s death, or to the Archbishop who was then President, and to the other Cardinals of the same Dicastery, to whose examination the deceased Supreme Pontiff would probably have entrusted them. In such circumstances, they will be able to decide per modum provisionis, until the election of the Pope, what they judge to be most fitting and appropriate for the preservation and defence of ecclesiastical rights and traditions.

26. The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, during the vacancy of the Holy See, continue to deal with cases in accordance with their proper laws, with due regard for the prescriptions of Article 18, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.18

 

CHAPTER V

THE FUNERAL RITES OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

27. After the death of the Roman Pontiff, the Cardinals will celebrate the funeral rites for the repose of his soul for nine consecutive days, in accordance with the Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontificis,the norms of which, together with those of the Ordo Rituum Conclavis, they are to observe faithfully.

28. If burial takes place in the Vatican Basilica, the relevant official document is drawn up by the Notary of the Chapter of the Basilica or by the Canon Archivist. Subsequently, a delegate of the Cardinal Camerlengo and a delegate of the Prefect of the Papal Household shall separately draw up documents certifying that burial has taken place. The former shall do so in the presence of the members of the Apostolic Camera and the latter in the presence of the Prefect of the Papal Household.

29. If the Roman Pontiff should die outside Rome, it is the task of the College of Cardinals to make all necessary arrangements for the dignified and reverent transfer of the body to the Basilica of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican.

30. No one is permitted to use any means whatsoever in order to photograph or film the Supreme Pontiff either on his sickbed or after death, or to record his words for subsequent reproduction. If after the Pope’s death anyone should wish to take photographs of him for documentary purposes, he must ask permission from the Cardinal Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, who will not however permit the taking of photographs of the Supreme Pontiff except attired in pontifical vestments.

31. After the burial of the Supreme Pontiff and during the election of the new Pope, no part of the private apartment of the Supreme Pontiff is to be lived in.

32. If the deceased Supreme Pontiff has made a will concerning his belongings, bequeathing letters and private documents, and has named an executor thereof, it is the responsibility of the latter to determine and execute, in accordance with the mandate received from the testator, matters concerning the private property and writings of the deceased Pope. The executor will give an account of his activities only to the new Supreme Pontiff.


PART TWO

THE ELECTION OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

CHAPTER I

THE ELECTORS OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

33. The right to elect the Roman Pontiff belongs exclusively to the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, with the exception of those who have reached their eightieth birthday before the day of the Roman Pontiff’s death or the day when the Apostolic See becomes vacant. The maximum number of Cardinal electors must not exceed one hundred and twenty. The right of active election by any other ecclesiastical dignitary or the intervention of any lay power of whatsoever grade or order is absolutely excluded.

34. If the Apostolic See should become vacant during the celebration of an Ecumenical Council or of a Synod of Bishops being held in Rome or in any other place in the world, the election of the new Pope is to be carried out solely and exclusively by the Cardinal electors indicated in No. 33, and not by the Council or the Synod of Bishops. For this reason I declare null and void acts which would in any way temerariously presume to modify the regulations concerning the election or the college of electors. Moreover, in confirmation of the provisions of Canons 340 and 347 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and of Canon 53 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches in this regard, a Council or Synod of Bishops, at whatever point they have reached, must be considered immediately suspended ipso iure, once notification is received of the vacancy of the Apostolic See. Therefore without any delay all meetings, congregations or sessions must be interrupted, and the preparation of any decrees or canons, together with the promulgation of those already confirmed, must be suspended, under pain of nullity of the same. Neither the Council nor the Synod can continue for any reason, even though it be most serious or worthy of special mention, until the new Pope, canonically elected, orders their resumption or continuation.

35. No Cardinal elector can be excluded from active or passive voice in the election of the Supreme Pontiff, for any reason or pretext, with due regard for the provisions of No. 40 of this Constitution.

36. A Cardinal of Holy Roman Church who has been created and published before the College of Cardinals thereby has the right to elect the Pope, in accordance with the norm of No. 33 of the present Constitution, even if he has not yet received the red hat or the ring, or sworn the oath. On the other hand, Cardinals who have been canonically deposed or who with the consent of the Roman Pontiff have renounced the cardinal- ate do not have this right. Moreover, during the period of vacancy the College of Cardinals cannot readmit or rehabilitate them.

37. I furthermore decree that, from the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant, the Cardinal electors who are present must wait fifteen full days for those who are absent; the College of Cardinals is also granted the faculty to defer, for serious reasons, the beginning of the election for a few days more. But when a maximum of twenty days have elapsed from the beginning of the vacancy of the See, all the Cardinal electors present are obliged to proceed to the election.

38. All the Cardinal electors, convoked for the election of the new Pope by the Cardinal Dean, or by another Cardinal in his name, are required, in virtue of holy obedience, to obey the announcement of convocation and to proceed to the place designated for this purpose, unless they are hindered by sickness or by some other grave impediment, which however must be recognized as such by the College of Cardinals.

39. However, should any Cardinal electors arrive re integra, that is, before the new Pastor of the Church has been elected, they shall be allowed to take part in the election at the stage which it has reached.

40. If a Cardinal with the right to vote should refuse to enter Vatican City in order to take part in the election, or subsequently, once the election has begun, should refuse to remain in order to discharge his office, without manifest reason of illness attested to under oath by doctors and confirmed by the majority of the electors, the other Cardinals shall proceed freely with the election, without waiting for him or readmitting him. If on the other hand a Cardinal elector is constrained to leave Vatican City because of illness, the election can proceed without asking for his vote; if however he desires to return to the place of the election, once his health is restored or even before, he must be readmitted.

Furthermore, if a Cardinal elector leaves Vatican City for some grave reason, acknowledged as such by the majority of the electors, he can return, in order once again to take part in the election.

 

CHAPTER II

THE PLACE OF THE ELECTION AND THOSE
ADMITTED TO IT BY REASON OF THEIR OFFICE

41. The Conclave for the election of the Supreme Pontiff shall take place within the territory of Vatican City, in determined areas and buildings, closed to unauthorized persons in such a way as to ensure suitable accommodation for the Cardinal electors and all those legitimately called to cooperate in the orderly functioning of the election.

42. By the time fixed for the beginning of the election of the Supreme Pontiff, all the Cardinal electors must have been assigned and must have taken up suitable lodging in the Domus Sanctae Marthae,recently built in Vatican City.

If reasons of health, previously confirmed by the appropriate Congregation of Cardinals, require that a Cardinal elector should have a nurse in attendance, even during the period of the election, arrangements must be made to provide suitable accommodation for the latter.

43. From the beginning of the electoral process until the public announcement that the election of the Supreme Pontiff has taken place, or in any case until the new Pope so disposes, the rooms of theDomus Sanctae Marthae, and in particular the Sistine Chapel and the areas reserved for liturgical celebrations are to be closed to unauthorized persons, by the authority of the Cardinal Camerlengo and with the outside assistance of the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, in accordance with the provisions set forth in the following Numbers.

During this period, the entire territory of Vatican City and the ordinary activity of the offices located therein shall be regulated in a way which permits the election of the Supreme Pontiff to be carried out with due privacy and freedom. In particular, provision shall be made to ensure that no one approaches the Cardinal electors while they are being transported from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Apostolic Vatican Palace.

44. The Cardinal electors, from the beginning of the election until its conclusion and the public announcement of its outcome, are not to communicate — whether by writing, by telephone or by any other means of communication — with persons outside the area where the election is taking place, except in cases of proven and urgent necessity, duly acknowledged by the Particular Congregation mentioned in No. 7. It is also the competence of the Particular Congregation to recognize the necessity and urgency of any communication with their respective offices on the part of the Cardinal Major Penitentiary, the Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome and the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica.

45. Anyone not indicated in No. 46 below and who, while legitimately present in Vatican City in accordance with No. 43 of this Constitution, should happen to meet one of the Cardinal electors during the time of the election, is absolutely forbidden to engage in conversation of any sort, by whatever means and for whatever reason, with that Cardinal.

46. In order to meet the personal and official needs connected with the election process, the following individuals must be available and therefore properly lodged in suitable areas within the confines mentioned in No. 43 of this Constitution: the Secretary of the College of Cardinals, who acts as Secretary of the electoral assembly; the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations with two Masters of Ceremonies and two Religious attached to the Papal Sacristy; and an ecclesiastic chosen by the Cardinal Dean or by the Cardinal taking his place, in order to assist him in his duties.

There must also be available a number of priests from the regular clergy for hearing confessions in the different languages, and two medical doctors for possible emergencies.

Appropriate provisions must also be made beforehand for a suitable number of persons to be available for preparing and serving meals and for housekeeping.

All the persons indicated here must receive prior approval from the Cardinal Camerlengo and the three Cardinal Assistants.

47. All the persons listed in No. 46 of this Constitution who in any way or at any time should come to learn anything from any source, directly or indirectly, regarding the election process, and in particular regarding the voting which took place in the election itself, are obliged to maintain strict secrecy with all persons extraneous to the College of Cardinal electors: accordingly, before the election begins, they shall take an oath in the form and using the formula indicated in No. 48.

48. At a suitable time before the beginning of the election, the persons indicated in No. 46 of this Constitution, having been duly warned about the meaning and extent of the oath which they are to take, shall, in the presence of the Cardinal Camerlengo or another Cardinal delegated by him, and of two Masters of Ceremonies, swear and sign the oath according to the following formula:

I, N.N., promise and swear that, unless I should receive a special faculty given expressly by the newly- elected Pontiff or by his successors, I will observe absolute and perpetual secrecy with all who are not part of the College of Cardinal electors concerning all matters directly or indirectly related to the ballots cast and their scrutiny for the election of the Supreme Pontiff.

I likewise promise and swear to refrain from using any audio or video equipment capable of recording anything which takes place during the period of the election within Vatican City, and in particular anything which in any way, directly or indirectly, is related to the process of the election itself. I declare that I take this oath fully aware that an infraction thereof will make me subject to the spiritual and canonical penalties which the future Supreme Pontiff will see fit to adopt, in accordance with Canon 1399 of the Code of Canon Law.

So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.

 

CHAPTER III

THE BEGINNING OF THE ELECTION

49. When the funeral rites for the deceased Pope have been celebrated according to the prescribed ritual, and everything necessary for the regular functioning of the election has been prepared, on the appointed day — and thus on the fifteenth day after the death of the Pope or, in conformity with the provisions of No. 37 of the present Constitution, not later than the twentieth — the Cardinal electors shall meet in the Basilica of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican, or elsewhere, should circumstances warrant it, in order to take part in a solemn Eucharistic celebration with the Votive Mass Pro Eligendo Papa.19 This celebration should preferably take place at a suitable hour in the morning, so that in the afternoon the prescriptions of the following Numbers of this Constitution can be carried out.

50. From the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, where they will assemble at a suitable hour in the afternoon, the Cardinal electors, in choir dress, and invoking the assistance of the Holy Spirit with the chant of the Veni Creator, will solemnly process to the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, where the election will be held.

51. Retaining the essential elements of the Conclave, but modifying some less important elements which, because of changed circumstances, no longer serve their original purpose, I establish and decree by the present Constitution that the election of the Supreme Pontiff, in conformity with the prescriptions contained in the following Numbers, is to take place exclusively in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Sistine Chapel is therefore to remain an absolutely enclosed area until the conclusion of the election, so that total secrecy may be ensured with regard to everything said or done there in any way pertaining, directly or indirectly, to the election of the Supreme Pontiff.

It will therefore be the responsibility of the College of Cardinals, operating under the authority and responsibility of the Camerlengo, assisted by the Particular Congregation mentioned in No. 7 of the present Constitution, and with the outside assistance of the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, to make all prior arrangements for the interior of the Sistine Chapel and adjacent areas to be prepared, so that the orderly election and its privacy will be ensured.

In a special way, careful and stringent checks must be made, with the help of trustworthy individuals of proven technical ability, in order to ensure that no audiovisual equipment has been secretly installed in these areas for recording and transmission to the outside.

52. When the Cardinal electors have arrived in the Sistine Chapel, in accordance with the provisions of No. 50, and still in the presence of those who took part in the solemn procession, they shall take the oath, reading aloud the formula indicated in No. 53.

The Cardinal Dean, or the Cardinal who has precedence by order and seniority in accordance with the provisions of No. 9 of the present Constitution, will read the formula aloud; then each of the Cardinal electors, touching the Holy Gospels, will read and recite the formula, as indicated in the following Number.

When the last of the Cardinal electors has taken the oath, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations will give the order Extra omnes, and all those not taking part in the Conclave must leave the Sistine Chapel.

The only ones to remain in the Chapel are the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations and the ecclesiastic previously chosen to preach to the Cardinal electors the second meditation, mentioned in No. 13 d), concerning the grave duty incumbent on them and thus on the need to act with right intention for the good of the Universal Church, solum Deum prae oculis habentes.

53. In conformity with the provisions of No. 52, the Cardinal Dean or the Cardinal who has precedence by order and seniority, will read aloud the following formula of the oath:

We, the Cardinal electors present in this election of the Supreme Pontiff promise, pledge and swear, as individuals and as a group, to observe faithfully and scrupulously the prescriptions contained in the Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Universi Dominici Gregis, published on 22 February 1996. We likewise promise, pledge and swear that whichever of us by divine disposition is elected Roman Pontiff will commit himself faithfully to carrying out the munus Petrinum of Pastor of the Universal Church and will not fail to affirm and defend strenuously the spiritual and temporal rights and the liberty of the Holy See. In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favour to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff.

Each of the Cardinal electors, according to the order of precedence, will then take the oath according to the following formula:

And I, N. Cardinal N., do so promise, pledge and swear. Placing his hand on the Gospels, he will add: So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.

54. When the ecclesiastic who gives the meditation has concluded, he leaves the Sistine Chapel together with the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. The Cardinal electors, after reciting the prayers found in the relative Ordo, listen to the Cardinal Dean (or the one taking his place), who begins by asking the College of electors whether the election can begin, or whether there still remain doubts which need to be clarified concerning the norms and procedures laid down in this Constitution. It is not however permitted, even if the electors are unanimously agreed, to modify or replace any of the norms and procedures which are a substantial part of the election process, under penalty of the nullity of the same deliberation.

If, in the judgment of the majority of the electors, there is nothing to prevent the election process from beginning, it shall start immediately, in accordance with the procedures indicated in this Constitution.

 

CHAPTER IV

OBSERVANCE OF SECRECY ON ALL MATTERS CONCERNING THE ELECTION

55. The Cardinal Camerlengo and the three Cardinal Assistants pro tempore are obliged to be especially vigilant in ensuring that there is abso- lutely no violation of secrecy with regard to the events occurring in the Sistine Chapel, where the voting takes place, and in the adjacent areas, before, as well as during and after the voting.

In particular, relying upon the expertise of two trustworthy technicians, they shall make every effort to preserve that secrecy by ensuring that no audiovisual equipment for recording or transmitting has been installed by anyone in the areas mentioned, and particularly in the Sistine Chapel itself, where the acts of the election are carried out.

Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.

56. For the whole duration of the election, the Cardinal electors are required to refrain from written correspondence and from all conversations, including those by telephone or radio, with persons who have not been duly admitted to the buildings set aside for their use.

Such conversations shall be permitted only for the most grave and urgent reasons, confirmed by the Particular Congregation of Cardinals mentioned in No. 7.

It shall therefore be the duty of the Cardinal electors to make necessary arrangements, before the beginning of the election, for the handling of all non-deferrable official or personal business, so that there will be no need for conversations of this sort to take place.

57. The Cardinal electors are likewise to refrain from receiving or sending messages of any kind outside Vatican City; naturally it is prohibited for any person legitimately present in Vatican City to deliver such messages. It is specifically prohibited to the Cardinal electors, for the entire duration of the election, to receive newspapers or periodicals of any sort, to listen to the radio or to watch television.

58. Those who, in accordance with the prescriptions of No. 46 of the present Constitution, carry out any functions associated with the election, and who directly or indirectly could in any way violate secrecy — whether by words or writing, by signs or in any other way — are absolutely obliged to avoid this, lest they incur the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See.

59. In particular, the Cardinal electors are forbidden to reveal to any other person, directly or indirectly, information about the voting and about matters discussed or decided concerning the election of the Pope in the meetings of Cardinals, both before and during the time of the election. This obligation of secrecy also applies to the Cardinals who are not electors but who take part in the General Congregations in accordance with No. 7 of the present Constitution.

60. I further order the Cardinal electors, graviter onerata ipsorum conscientia, to maintain secrecy concerning these matters also after the election of the new Pope has taken place, and I remind them that it is not licit to break the secret in any way unless a special and explicit permission has been granted by the Pope himself.

61. Finally, in order that the Cardinal electors may be protected from the indiscretion of others and from possible threats to their independence of judgment and freedom of decision, I absolutely forbid the introduction into the place of the election, under whatsoever pretext, or the use, should they have been introduced, of technical instruments of any kind for the recording, reproducing or transmitting of sound, visual images or writing.

 

CHAPTER V

THE ELECTION PROCEDURE

62. Since the forms of election known as per acclamationem seu inspirationem and per compromissum are abolished, the form of electing the Roman Pontiff shall henceforth be per scrutinium alone.

I therefore decree that for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff two thirds of the votes are required, calculated on the basis of the total number of electors present.

Should it be impossible to divide the number of Cardinals present into three equal parts, for the validity of the election of the Supreme Pontiff one additional vote is required.

63. The election is to begin immediately after the provisions of No. 54 of the present Constitution have been duly carried out.

Should the election begin on the afternoon of the first day, only one ballot is to be held; then, on the following days, if no one was elected on the first ballot, two ballots shall be held in the morning and two in the afternoon. The voting is to begin at a time which shall have been determined earlier, either in the preparatory Congregations or during the election period, but in accordance with the procedures laid down in Nos. 64ff of the present Constitution.

64. The voting process is carried out in three phases. The first phase, which can be called the pre-scrutiny, comprises: 1) the preparation and distribution of the ballot papers by the Masters of Ceremonies, who give at least two or three to each Cardinal elector; 2) the drawing by lot, from among all the Cardinal electors, of three Scrutineers, of three persons charged with collecting the votes of the sick, called for the sake of brevity Infirmarii, and of three Revisers; this drawing is carried out in public by the junior Cardinal Deacon, who draws out nine names, one after another, of those who shall carry out these tasks; 3) if, in the drawing of lots for the Scrutineers, Infirmarii and Revisers, there should come out the names of Cardinal electors who because of infirmity or other reasons are unable to carry out these tasks, the names of others who are not impeded are to be drawn in their place. The first three drawn will act as Scrutineers, the second three as Infirmarii and the last three as Revisers.

65. For this phase of the voting process the following norms must be observed: 1) the ballot paper must be rectangular in shape and must bear in the upper half, in print if possible, the words Eligo in Summum Pontificem; on the lower half there must be a space left for writing the name of the person chosen; thus the ballot is made in such a way that it can be folded in two; 2) the completion of the ballot must be done in secret by each Cardinal elector, who will write down legibly, as far as possible in handwriting that cannot be identified as his, the name of the person he chooses, taking care not to write other names as well, since this would make the ballot null; he will then fold the ballot twice; 3) during the voting, the Cardinal electors are to remain alone in the Sistine Chapel; therefore, immediately after the distribution of the ballots and before the electors begin to write, the Secretary of the College of Cardinals, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations and the Masters of Ceremonies must leave the Chapel. After they have left, the junior Cardinal Deacon shall close the door, opening and closing it again each time this is necessary, as for example when the Infirmarii go to collect the votes of the sick and when they return to the Chapel.

66. The second phase, the scrutiny proper, comprises: 1) the placing of the ballots in the appropriate receptacle; 2) the mixing and counting of the ballots; 3) the opening of the votes. Each Cardinal elector, in order of precedence, having completed and folded his ballot, holds it up so that it can be seen and carries it to the altar, at which the Scrutineers stand and upon which there is placed a receptacle, covered by a plate, for receiving the ballots. Having reached the altar, the Cardinal elector says aloud the words of the following oath: 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 then places the ballot on the plate, with which he drops it into the receptacle. Having done this, he bows to the altar and returns to his place.

If any of the Cardinal electors present in the Chapel is unable to go to the altar because of infirmity, the last of the Scrutineers goes to him. The infirm elector, having pronounced the above oath, hands the folded ballot to the Scrutineer, who carries it in full view to the altar and omitting the oath, places it on the plate, with which he drops it into the receptacle.

67. If there are Cardinal electors who are sick and confined to their rooms, referred to in Nos. 41ff of this Constitution, the three Infirmarii go to them with a box which has an opening in the top through which a folded ballot can be inserted. Before giving the box to the Infirmarii, the Scrutineers open it publicly, so that the other electors can see that it is empty; they are then to lock it and place the key on the altar. The Infirmarii, taking the locked box and a sufficient number of ballot papers on a small tray, then go, duly accompanied, to the Domus Sanctae Marthae to each sick elector, who takes a ballot, writes his vote in secret, folds the ballot and, after taking the above- mentioned oath, puts it through the opening in the box. If any of the electors who are sick is unable to write, one of the three Infirmarii or another Cardinal elector chosen by the sick man, having taken an oath before theInfirmarii concerning the observance of secrecy, carries out the above procedure. The Infirmariithen take the box back into the Chapel, where it shall be opened by the Scrutineers after the Cardinals present have cast their votes. The Scrutineers then count the ballots in the box and, having ascertained that their number corresponds to the number of those who are sick, place them one by one on the plate and then drop them all together into the receptacle. In order not to prolong the voting process unduly, the Infirmarii may complete their own ballots and place them in the receptable immediately after the senior Cardinal, and then go to collect the votes of the sick in the manner indicated above while the other electors are casting their votes.

68. After all the ballots of the Cardinal electors have been placed in the receptacle, the first Scrutineer shakes it several times in order to mix them, and immediately afterwards the last Scrutineer proceeds to count them, picking them out of the urn in full view and placing them in another empty receptacle previously prepared for this purpose. If the number of ballots does not correspond to the number of electors, the ballots must all be burned and a second vote taken at once; if however their number does correspond to the number of electors, the opening of the ballots then takes place in the following manner.

69. The Scrutineers sit at a table placed in front of the altar. The first of them takes a ballot, unfolds it, notes the name of the person chosen and passes the ballot to the second Scrutineer, who in his turn notes the name of the person chosen and passes the ballot to the third, who reads it out in a loud and clear voice, so that all the electors present can record the vote on a sheet of paper prepared for that purpose. He himself writes down the name read from the ballot. If during the opening of the ballots the Scrutineers should discover two ballots folded in such a way that they appear to have been completed by one elector, if these ballots bear the same name they are counted as one vote; if however they bear two different names, neither vote will be valid; however, in neither of the two cases is the voting session annulled.

When all the ballots have been opened, the Scrutineers add up the sum of the votes obtained by the different names and write them down on a separate sheet of paper. The last Scrutineer, as he reads out the individual ballots, pierces each one with a needle through the word Eligo and places it on a thread, so that the ballots can be more securely preserved. After the names have been read out, the ends of the thread are tied in a knot, and the ballots thus joined together are placed in a receptacle or on one side of the table.

70. There then follows the third and last phase, also known as the post-scrutiny, which comprises: 1) the counting of the votes; 2) the checking of the same; 3) the burning of the ballots.

The Scrutineers add up all the votes that each individual has received, and if no one has obtained two thirds of the votes on that ballot, the Pope has not been elected; if however it turns out that someone has obtained two thirds of the votes, the canonically valid election of the Roman Pontiff has taken place.

In either case, that is, whether the election has occurred or not, the Revisers must proceed to check both the ballots and the notes made by the Scrutineers, in order to make sure that these latter have performed their task exactly and faithfully.

Immediately after the checking has taken place, and before the Cardinal electors leave the Sistine Chapel, all the ballots are to be burnt by the Scrutineers, with the assistance of the Secretary of the Conclave and the Masters of Ceremonies who in the meantime have been summoned by the junior Cardinal Deacon. If however a second vote is to take place immediately, the ballots from the first vote will be burned only at the end, together with those from the second vote.

71. In order that secrecy may be better observed, I order each and every Cardinal elector to hand over to the Cardinal Camerlengo or to one of the three Cardinal Assistants any notes which he may have in his possession concerning the results of each ballot. These notes are to be burnt together with the ballots.

I further lay down that at the end of the election the Cardinal Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church shall draw up a document, to be approved also by the three Cardinal Assistants, declaring the result of the voting at each session. This document is to be given to the Pope and will thereafter be kept in a designated archive, enclosed in a sealed envelope, which may be opened by no one unless the Supreme Pontiff gives explicit permission.

72. Confirming the dispositions of my Predecessors, Saint Pius X,20 Pius XII 21 and Paul VI,22 I decree that — except for the afternoon of the entrance into the Conclave — both in the morning and in the afternoon, after a ballot which does not result in an election, the Cardinal electors shall proceed immediately to a second one, in which they are to express their vote anew. In this second ballot all the formalities of the previous one are to be observed, with the difference that the electors are not bound to take a new oath or to choose new Scrutineers, Infirmarii and Revisers. Everything done in this regard for the first ballot will be valid for the second one, without the need for any repetition.

73. Everything that has been laid down above concerning the voting procedures must be diligently observed by the Cardinal electors in all the ballots, which are to take place each day, in the morning and in the afternoon, after the celebration of the sacred rites or prayers laid down in the Ordo Rituum Conclavis.

74. In the event that the Cardinal electors find it difficult to agree on the person to be elected, after balloting has been carried out for three days in the form described above (in Nos. 62ff) without result, voting is to be suspended for a maximum of one day in order to allow a pause for prayer, informal discussion among the voters, and a brief spiritual exhortation given by the senior Cardinal in the Order of Deacons. Voting is then resumed in the usual manner, and after seven ballots, if the election has not taken place, there is another pause for prayer, discussion and an exhortation given by the senior Cardinal in the Order of Priests. Another series of seven ballots is then held and, if there has still been no election, this is followed by a further pause for prayer, discussion and an exhortation given by the senior Cardinal in the Order of Bishops. Voting is then resumed in the usual manner and, unless the election occurs, it is to continue for seven ballots.

75. If the balloting does not result in an election, even after the provisions of No. 74 have been fulfilled, the Cardinal electors shall be invited by the Camerlengo to express an opinion about the manner of proceeding. The election will then proceed in accordance with what the absolute majority of the electors decides.

Nevertheless, there can be no waiving of the requirement that a valid election takes place only by an absolute majority of the votes or else by voting only on the two names which in the ballot immediately preceding have received the greatest number of votes; also in this second case only an absolute majority is required.

76. Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.

77. I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

 

CHAPTER VI

MATTERS TO BE OBSERVED OR AVOIDED IN THE ELECTION
OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF

78. If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.23

79. Confirming the prescriptions of my Predecessors, I likewise forbid anyone, even if he is a Cardinal, during the Pope’s lifetime and without having consulted him, to make plans concerning the election of his successor, or to promise votes, or to make decisions in this regard in private gatherings.

80. In the same way, I wish to confirm the provisions made by my Predecessors for the purpose of excluding any external interference in the election of the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, in virtue of holy obedience and under pain of excommunication latae sententiae, I again forbid each and every Cardinal elector, present and future, as also the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and all other persons taking part in the preparation and carrying out of everything necessary for the election, to accept under any pretext whatsoever, from any civil authority whatsoever, the task of proposing theveto or the so-called exclusiva, even under the guise of a simple desire, or to reveal such either to the entire electoral body assembled together or to individual electors, in writing or by word of mouth, either directly and personally or indirectly and through others, both before the election begins and for its duration. I intend this prohibition to include all possible forms of interference, opposition and suggestion whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree, or any individual or group, might attempt to exercise influence on the election of the Pope.

81. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.

82. I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.

83. With the same insistence shown by my Predecessors, I earnestly exhort the Cardinal electors not to allow themselves to be guided, in choosing the Pope, by friendship or aversion, or to be influenced by favour or personal relationships towards anyone, or to be constrained by the interference of persons in authority or by pressure groups, by the suggestions of the mass media, or by force, fear or the pursuit of popularity. Rather, having before their eyes solely the glory of God and the good of the Church, and having prayed for divine assistance, they shall give their vote to the person, even outside the College of Cardinals, who in their judgment is most suited to govern the universal Church in a fruitful and beneficial way.

84. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, and above all during the time of the election of the Successor of Peter, the Church is united in a very special way with her Pastors and particularly with the Cardinal electors of the Supreme Pontiff, and she asks God to grant her a new Pope as a gift of his goodness and providence. Indeed, following the example of the first Christian community spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 1:14), the universal Church, spiritually united with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, should persevere with one heart in prayer; thus the election of the new Pope will not be something unconnected with the People of God and concerning the College of electors alone, but will be in a certain sense an act of the whole Church. I therefore lay down that in all cities and other places, at least the more important ones, as soon as news is received of the vacancy of the Apostolic See and, in particular, of the death of the Pope, and following the celebration of his solemn funeral rites, humble and persevering prayers are to be offered to the Lord (cf. Mt 21:22; Mk 11:24), that he may enlighten the electors and make them so likeminded in their task that a speedy, harmonious and fruitful election may take place, as the salvation of souls and the good of the whole People of God demand.

85. In a most earnest and heartfelt way I recommend this prayer to the venerable Cardinals who, by reason of age, no longer enjoy the right to take part in the election of the Supreme Pontiff. By virtue of the singular bond with the Apostolic See which the Cardinalate represents, let them lead the prayer of the People of God, whether gathered in the Patriarchal Basilicas of the city of Rome or in places of worship in other particular Churches, fervently imploring the assistance of Almighty God and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit for the Cardinal electors, especially at the time of the election itself. They will thereby participate in an effective and real way in the difficult task of providing a Pastor for the universal Church.

86. I also ask the one who is elected not to refuse, for fear of its weight, the office to which he has been called, but to submit humbly to the design of the divine will. God who imposes the burden will sustain him with his hand, so that he will be able to bear it. In conferring the heavy task upon him, God will also help him to accomplish it and, in giving him the dignity, he will grant him the strength not to be overwhelmed by the weight of his office.

 

CHAPTER VII

THE ACCEPTANCE AND PROCLAMATION OF THE NEW POPE
AND THE BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY

87. When the election has canonically taken place, the junior Cardinal Deacon summons into the hall of election the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. The Cardinal Dean, or the Cardinal who is first in order and seniority, in the name of the whole College of electors, then asks the consent of the one elected in the following words: Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff? And, as soon as he has received the consent, he asks him: By what name do you wish to be called? Then the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, acting as notary and having as witnesses two Masters of Ceremonies, who are to be summoned at that moment, draws up a document certifying acceptance by the new Pope and the name taken by him.

88. After his acceptance, the person elected, if he has already received episcopal ordination, is immediately Bishop of the Church of Rome, true Pope and Head of the College of Bishops. He thus acquires and can exercise full and supreme power over the universal Church.

If the person elected is not already a Bishop, he shall immediately be ordained Bishop.

89. When the other formalities provided for in the Ordo Rituum Conclavis have been carried out, the Cardinal electors approach the newly-elected Pope in the prescribed manner, in order to make an act of homage and obedience. An act of thanksgiving to God is then made, after which the senior Cardinal Deacon announces to the waiting people that the election has taken place and proclaims the name of the new Pope, who immedi- ately thereafter imparts the Apostolic Blessing Urbi et Orbifrom the balcony of the Vatican Basilica.

If the person elected is not already a Bishop, homage is paid to him and the announcement of his election is made only after he has been solemnly ordained Bishop.

90. If the person elected resides outside Vatican City, the norms contained in the Ordo Rituum Conclavis are to be observed.

If the newly-elected Supreme Pontiff is not already a Bishop, his episcopal ordination, referred to in Nos. 88 and 89 of the present Constitution, shall be carried out according to the usage of the Church by the Dean of the College of Cardinals or, in his absence, by the Subdean or, should he too be prevented from doing so, by the senior Cardinal Bishop.

91. The Conclave ends immediately after the new Supreme Pontiff assents to his election, unless he should determine otherwise. From that moment the new Pope can be approached by the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, the Secretary for Relations with States, the Prefect of the Papal Household and by anyone else needing to discuss with him matters of importance at the time.

92. After the solemn ceremony of the inauguration of the Pontificate and within an appropriate time, the Pope will take possession of the Patriarchal Archbasilica of the Lateran, according to the prescribed ritual.


PROMULGATION

Wherefore, after mature reflection and following the example of my Predecessors, I lay down and prescribe these norms and I order that no one shall presume to contest the present Constitution and anything contained herein for any reason whatsoever. This Constitution is to be completely observed by all, notwithstanding any disposition to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention. It is to be fully and integrally implemented and is to serve as a guide for all to whom it refers.

As determined above, I hereby declare abrogated all Constitutions and Orders issued in this regard by the Roman Pontiffs, and at the same time I declare completely null and void anything done by any person, whatever his authority, knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 22 February, the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle, in the year 1996, the eighteenth of my Pontificate.


1 Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, III, 3, 2: SCh 211, 33.

2 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Vacante Sede Apostolica (25 December 1904): Pii X Pontificis Maximi Acta, III (1908), 239-288.

3 Cf. Motu Proprio Cum Proxime (1 March 1922): AAS 14 (1922), 145-146; Apostolic Constitution Quae Divinitus (25 March 1935): AAS 27 (1935), 97-113.

4 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (8 December 1945): AAS 38 (1946), 65-99.

5 Cf. Motu proprio Summi Pontificis Electio (5 September 1962): AAS 54 (1962), 632-640.

6 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae (15 August 1967): AAS 59 (1967), 885-928; Motu Proprio Ingravescentem Aetatem (21 November 1970): AAS 62 (1970), 810-813; Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo (1 October 1975): AAS 67 (1975), 609-645.

7 Cf. AAS 80 (1988), 841-912.

8 Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ Pastor Aeternus, III; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 18.

9 Canon 332 § 1 C.I.C.; Canon 44 § 1 C.C.E.O.

10 Cf. Motu Proprio Ingravescentem Aetatem (21 November 1970), II, 2: AAS 62 (1970), 811; Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo (1 October 1975), 33: AAS 67 (1975), 622.

11 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1752.

12 Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 332 § 2, Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Canon 47 § 2.

13 Cf. AAS 80 (1988), 860.

14 Cf. AAS 69 (1977), 9-10.

15 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Vicariae Potestatis (6 January 1977), 2 § 4: AAS 69 (1977), 10.

16 Cf. No. 12: AAS 27 (1935), 112-113.

17 Cf. Art. 117: AAS 80 (1988), 905.

18 Cf. AAS 80 (1988), 864.

19 Missale Romanum, No. 4, p. 795.

20 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Vacante Sede Apostolica (25 December 1904), 76: Pii X Pontificis Maximi Acta, III (1908), 280-281.

21 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (8 December 1945), 88: AAS 38 (1946), 93.

22 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo (1 October 1975), 74: AAS 67 (1975), 639.

23 Cf. Saint Pius X, Apostolic Constitution Vacante Sede Apostolica (25 December 1904), 79: Pii X Pontificis Maximi Acta, III (1908), 282; Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (8 December 1945), 92: AAS 38 (1946), 94; Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo (1 October 1975), 79: AAS 67 (1975), 641.

 

© Copyright 1996 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Feb 18

DECLARATIO of abdication

DECLARATIO

 

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Chu

rch. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

Feb 18

The Holy Father sets to abdicate the Petrine Ministry

 

Dismay, surprise, amazement and emotion at the words of Benedict XVI who announced his decision to “renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”. These sentiments were etched on the faces of the cardinals, bishops and prelates – assembled for the Ordinary Public Concistory on Monday morning, 11 February, in the Concistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace – who heard the unexpected announcement in the Pope’s own voice.

Everyone’s eyes met, a light murmur swelled in the hall and astonishment faded into sorrow. Yet, after the first few moments of confusion, the unanimous recognition that the Pope’s act was a very lofty act of humility made headway among those present – who included the papal masters of ceremony, representatives of the postulations, choristers of the Sistine Chapel Choir, papal chair bearers and technicians.

It was a decision that took everyone by surprise. As did the fact that the Pope – accompanied by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, and Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the Pope’s Almoner, Mons. Leonardo Sapienza, Regent of the Papal Household, and Alfred Xuereb of the Pope’s Private Secretariat – chose to communicate it personally, when, at the end of the celebration of Midday Prayer and after the anno

uncement that the three canonizations on the agenda of the Concistory would be held next 12 May, he read the Latin text of theDeclaratio written in his own hand. Speaking in a firm, calm voice, while those present listened to him in an almost unreal silence, he explained the reasons for his decision, made “with full freedom”, and “after having repeatedly examined my conscience before God”.

The prayerful, joyous atmosphere turned into sadness.  The spokesman who rose to the occasion was Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals who immediately took the floor on behalf of all the cardinals. “Your Holiness, beloved and venerable Successor of Peter”, he said, “your moving message rang out in this hall like a bolt from the blue. We heard it with a sense of bewilderment, almost totally unbelieving. In your words we noted the great affection which you have always had for God’s holy Church, for this Church which you have so deeply loved”.

Now, he added, “may I be permitted to tell you on behalf of the apostolic ‘upper room’, the College of Cardinals, on behalf of your dear co-workers, that we are closer to you than ever, as we have been especially close in these luminous eight years of your pontificate”.

The Cardinal assured Benedict XVI that “before 28 February, as you said, the day on which you wish to give the last word to your papal service, carried out so lovingly, so humbly, before 28 February we will have an opportunity to express our sentiments to you better. A great number of pastors and of the faithful, scattered across the world, will do likewise, as will numerous people of good will, together with the authorities of a great many countries”. He then made a reference to the upcoming commitments of the Pope. During this month we shall have the joy of hearing your voice as a pastor: on Ash Wednesday, then on Thursday with the clergy of Rome, at the Angelus on the
coming Sundays, at the Wednesday General Audiences. There will thus be many occasions on which to hear your fatherly voice again”. “Your mission”, he concluded, “will nevertheless continue”. You said that you will always be close to us with your witness and with your prayers. Of course, the stars of heaven always continue to shine and thus the star of your pontificate will always shine among us. We are close to you, Holy Father, and please bless us”.

Nov 04

Prof. Hector S. Damaso, M.A.Th. strikes on the second conference for the Year of Faith! (by Jub Alabastro)

Sir Hector Damaso discussed CHAPTER TWO OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, GOD COMES TO MEET MAN. Dr. Damaso talked about the nature of Divine Revelation; how it is manifested in Scripture and Tradition, and why the Church Magisterium is the only authentic interpreter of both. Dr. Damaso tackled the nature of Scripture and the wrong interpretations given to it by various sects. He argued against the heresy of Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone) as not being taught in the Scripture. He also touched the four senses of interpreting Holy Scripture. Next, he showed the role and importance of Oral Tradition in the Church.

 

 

 

Finally, he discussed the Magisterium. He warned the faithful not to believe anybody, even if a Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, or theologian, if this person will go against the Magisterial Teachings and the Pope. In conclusion, Dr. Damaso encouraged the audience to know their Catholic Faith by reading their bible and the Catechism and also by attending Catholic Bible Studies conducted by the Catholic Faith Defenders every 7:00 -9:00 p.m. Thurs. and Sat. at San Pedro.

Oct 28

Year of the Faith activities – Bro. Ryan R. Mejillano takes the turn on Catechism of the Catholic Church lecture

Yesterday, October 27, 2012 marks the 3rd set of Saturday lecture/ conference on the Catechism of the Catholic Church duly endorsed by the Archdiocese of Davao. The Daughters of St. Paul and Pauline Cooperator serve as the prime mover of this activity. As reported, it was first launched last October 13 (Saturday) by Rev. Fr. Jorge S. Angga, STB followed subsequently by Prof. Hector S. Damaso, MAT (October 20).

Bro. Ryan R. Mejillano takes turn as he gives a talk on Chapter 3 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The first three (3) lecturers are all from our Catholic Faith Defenders Davao City team.  The year long celebration of the Year of Faith will be celebrated in the Archdiocese of Davao with a series of conferences on the Catechism of the Catholic Church every Saturday from 4:00pm-5:30pm with a 30 minute open forum.  This is open for all and registration is free.

Year of the Faith is a time to rediscover the content of the faith and to profess it with renewed conviction. The following are the scheduled speakers for the whole duration of the conference, to wit;

Archbishop Romulo G. Valles,DD            Archbishop Emeritus Fernando R. Capalla, DD

Rev. Fr. Joel Caasi                                   Rev. Fr. Bill La Rousse,MM

Rev. Fr. Danny Montana,RCJ                   Rev. Fr. Ming Barawid, MI

Sr. Claire Espiritu,PDDM                           Sr. Miriam Alejandrino,OSB

Rev. Fr. Rene Retardo                             Msgr. Abel Apigo

Rev. Fr. Ritsche Gamaya                         Rev. Fr. Jose Marie Escuadro

Rev. Fr. Orly Angelia                                Rev. Fr. Albert Bernal, FSP

Rev. Fr. Bong Lunas                                Rev. Fr. Jorge Angga

Dr. Michael Manalaysay                           Prof. Hector Damaso

Prof. Ryan Mejillano

Thanks to my taga-basa – Bro. Boy Partosa CFD Treasurer. Also to Ace Malubay for operating my powerpoint presentation. To Hubert Gumanay for announcing the event and to all CFD Davao for supporting our causa. Benedicat Deus!

 

Te Deum Laudamus!

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