Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Cardinals Conclude Ninth General Congregation

Today, at the end of the Ninth General Congregation of Cardinals in the period of the vacant see, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following statement to journalists:

"The ninth General Congregation of cardinals began at 9 this morning in the New Synod Hall in the presence of 140 cardinals.

"The cardinals discussed several articles of Chapter IV of the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici gregis'. (Chapter IV: Faculties of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia during the vacancy of the Apostolic See)

"The assembly continued their exchange of ideas on the situation of the Church and the world.

"The cardinals received condolences from the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

"Following the speech by Ambassador Giovanni Galassi of the Republic of San Marino, dean of the diplomatic corps, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, thanked the chiefs of mission, asking them to express the gratitude of the Sacred College to the authorities and the peoples whom they represent.

"Joining the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in greeting the diplomatic corps were Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, the vice dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the senior cardinal of the Order of Priests, Eugenio de Araujo Sales and the cardinal proto-deacon, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez.

"At the end of this morning's ninth congregation, the cardinals were given the series of 'sede vacante' stamps issued by the Philatelic Office of Vatican City.

"The recitation of the Regina Coeli concluded the meeting." -V.I.S.


John said...

A brief, stupid question which came to mind.

We now have 115 cardinals who will be electing the Pope.

2/3 of 115 is 76.6 (and there would be a bar over the decimal, as 6 extends to infinity). Add 1 cardinal for 2/3+1, and you still get a fractional number. So...How do they resolve it to a whole cardinal? Do they round up? Round down?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I got nothin'.

Jimbo said...

According to Pope John Paul II's Universi Dominici Gregis (No. 54):

"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."

This is somewhat ambiguous. It seems that this is calling for 2/3 + 1, but this doesn't make any sense as John pointed out. I think by "one additional vote," the Pope means "rounding up." That's my interpretation at least. So this would mean 77 votes are required for election.

John said...

Oh, bother.

I pray the next Pope will do something to clarify that for the next go-round, which there will inevitably be, eventually.

If we have a Pope decided by only 77 votes (would we ever know? do we know the vote totals for any ballot in the past?), the result could be...messy.

Oh...A thought. Could someone set up a 'Conclave Countdown Clock' (counting down to the Conclave) and an 'Election Timer' (counting how long it takes to elect the Pope)?

abragad said...

An Italian newspaper wrote "Apparently [a certain powerful Cardinal] already has pledges from more than 50 electors, of the 77 he would need to be elected." Everyone seems to agree 77 is the needed number of votes.

Anonymous said...

Can you say Policarpo

Anonymous said...

The 'plus one' rule in Universi Dominici Gregis is to ensure that no Cardinal can become elected Pope by voting for himself. However, if, as is now possible, the election is decided by a simple majority after thirty or so votes, it could be decided by a Cardinal voting for himself.
Also, we all know that it is Joseph Ratzinger who allegedly has all this support. In previous elections there have usually been two candidates with large bands of supporters by the time the Conclave starts. In the second 1978 conclave they were Cardinal Giuseppe Siri and Cardinal Benelli. When neither of them could get the two thirds majority, Benelli's votes were transferred to a third compromise candidate, one Karol Wojtyla and the rest is history. Thus, the Holy Spirit seems to ensure that those with block votes before the conclave will not occupy St Peter's Throne. As the old adage goes, 'He who enters the Conclave a Pope, leaves a Cardinal'.

ron said...

he who enters Pope walks out a Cardinal--all this conjecture if b.s. As one post reporte, KW was on no one's list in '78- Let's throw the dart and the board and is comes up !!!!!!!!!!Carrera!!!

Anonymous said...


I have read elsewhere what you claim: "The 'plus one' rule in Universi Dominici Gregis is to ensure that no Cardinal can become elected Pope by voting for himself."

But what does that even mean? How is adding one more vote to the total going to prevent a Cardinal from becoming Pope based on his own vote becoming the "swing vote," if you will. Whether the number is 50 or 76.6 or 77 or 100, the vote of the Pope-to-be is going to be counted as one of the votes toward the total.

Anonymous said...

The Pope should be elected by a two-thirds majority. Therefore, by adding in the requirement of an extra vote, if a Cardinal voted for himself, there would still be a two-thirds majority even if that Cardinal's vote were disregarded. (Impossible as the ballot is completely secret. Cardinals are even supposed to disguise their handwriting when completing the ballot paper!) This ensures that a Pope would be elected by a two-thirds majority of all the other Cardinals.
Is that clearer? It was the Holy Father himslef who stipulated this.

Anonymous said...

The Next Pope will be from the Benedictine Order. It has been predicted. I encourage all to this weblink. This is not a joke or a 'advertisement'. Read the last to paragraphs....scary!!

Anonymous said...

The Malachy prophecies are generally considered a forgery and the analogies drawn from many of them are rather tortured.
Besides,the only Benedictine cardinal right now is in his 90s.

Anonymous said...

Joe said the next pope was going to be from the benectine order! That's pretty spooky now that we have a pope and the name he chose is benedict!