Monday, April 18, 2005

Conclave Begins at 4:30 p.m. CET

As I write, the College of Cardinals is gathered in St. Peter's Basilica to concelebrate the pre-conclave "Pro eligendo Pontifice" Holy Mass, which started at 10 a.m. CET, and to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit during the voting process. Today at 4:30 p.m. CET (10:30 a.m. EDT), the conclave to elect the 264th Successor of St. Peter will commence. When the last cardinal swears his oath, the papal master of ceremonies Archbishop Piero Marini will announce, "Extra omnes" (Latin for "everyone out"). Then the 115 cardinal electors gathered in the Vatican City will be locked in the Sistine Chapel to begin the process of ushering in a new Papacy.

6 comments:

jose said...

Not to make light of a very serious and historical event, but there is something very Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome about the whole process. I can picture the crowds at St. Peter's chanting "115 Cardinals enter, 1 Pope leaves!" You add Tina Turner and the two who played Master Blaster and you would have quite an event.

Seriously though, I pray for the Cardinals to be guided by the Holy Spirit to select the best candidate among them to become Pope.

redtetrahedron said...

"...the 264th Successor of St. Peter..."

There seems to be some discrepancy in news reports and references about the number of Popes... The Catholic Encyclopedia List of Popes lists John Paul II as the 265th Pope, meaning the cardinals are electing the 265th successor to St. Peter (unless you count Sylvester III as an antipope).

Jimbo said...

Contrary to what the Catholic Encylopedia may say, the Vatican recognizes that there have only been 264 popes. Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said on Saturday:

"Next Monday April 18, 115 cardinals from 52 countries representing five continents will begin the first conclave of the third millennium to elect the 264th successor of St Peter: in other words the 265th Pope in the history of the Catholic Church."

Thomas Hurley said...

In case anyone is curious, I think maybe the reason that Catholic Encyclopedia list has the wrong number is because it includes Stephen II, a priest who was elected in 752. Because he was not yet a bishop he had to be made a bishop so that he would be bishop of Rome, and thus Pope. Unfortunately he died before this could be done, so he was never actually Pope, but some lists mistakenly include him.

Anonymous said...

Of course, there are problems with the postumous throwing out of Alexander V and the first John XXIII, and the fact that there was no John XX.

I believe there was another pope kicked out in the 20th century...

Thomas Hurley said...

The fact that there was no Pope named John XX arose out of previous scribal errors, and does not affect the overall number of popes, but merely the name numbering of the Pope Johns. More importantly, it is not strictly accurate to speak of Alexander V and the first John XXIII being "thrown out," posthumously or otherwise, because they were never popes to begin with. When these two men were elected, there was already a validly elected Pope, Gregory XII, who had not yet resigned. It is impossible to have two popes at the same time.