"Benedict XVI will continue to fully carry out his functions and his service until 28 February at 8:00pm. From that moment on the situation of Sede Vacante will begin, regulated, from a legal and canonical standpoint, by the texts referring to Sede Vacante in the Code of Canon Law and the Apostolic Constitution 'Universi dominici gregis' by John Paul II, regarding the Sede Vacante of the Apostolic See."
It will soon be eight years since 19 April 2013, the day that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, was elected as Supreme Pontiff, the 264th successor of Peter, and chose the name Benedict XVI.
When a new Pope is elected the words: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum;
habemus Papam;" are used.
The conclave to elect the successor of Benedict XVI will be regulated by the "Ordo Rituum Conclavis" established by John Paul II's apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis", para. 27. The Cardinal Camerlengo, who has a fundamental role during the Sede Vacante period, is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed by Benedict XVI on 4 April 2007.
The Cardinal electors, by their continents of provenance, will be 61 Europeans, 19 Latin Americans, 14 North Americans, 11 Africans, 11 Asians, and 1 from Oceania. These figures may vary depending on the date that the conclave opens: for example, Cardinal Walter Kasper will turn 80 on 5 March. The country with the greatest number of Cardinal electors is Italy, with 21. Sixty-seven of the electors were created by Benedict XVI and the remaining 50 by John Paul II.
The Cardinals will be housed in the Vatican residence Casa Santa Marta, which is independent from the place where they vote, the Sistine Chapel.
The Cardinal electors must remain in the Vatican during the entire period of conclave, and no one can approach them when they move from the Sistine Chapel to their place of residence or vice versa. All forms of communication with the outside world are prohibited. As in the past, the Sistine Chapel stove will be used to burn the ballots after each vote.
(EDITED FROM VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
Q. What is a cardinal?
A cardinal is one of a group of advisors to the pope most recognizable by their bright red—or scarlet—vestments. In most cases, a cardinal is either a Vatican official or the head of a major diocese. The cardinals of the Catholic Church are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, whose members are selected exclusively by the pope. They occupy a special place of honor in the Church, are addressed as “Your Eminence,” and are sometimes referred to as “princes of the Church.” A cardinal is also officially a member of clergy of Rome (and therefore someone who could be elected bishop of Rome). Therefore, when a cardinal is named, he takes possession of a titular church in Rome.
Q. What are the duties of a cardinal?
A. Cardinals advise the pope and do so when gathered in Rome for consistories (where new cardinals are also created) and Synods of Bishops. Numerous cardinals also advise the pope in their roles as heads of the various Congregations and Pontifical Councils that comprise the Roman curia (the bureaucracy of the Vatican). The most solemn duty of a cardinal is to participate in a conclave, the election of a new pope. When a cardinal turns 80, he ceases to be a member of all departments within the Roman curia and loses his right to vote in a conclave; he remains a member of the College of Cardinals. Pope Paul VI put this rule in place in 1970.
Q. How many cardinals are there in the Catholic Church?
A. Including those elevated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, there are 213 cardinals in the Catholic Church, of whom 125 are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave. The size of the College of Cardinals has varied through the centuries, capped at 70 from the 16th Century till Blessed John XXIII expanded it and Paul VI reset the limit of cardinals who can participate in a conclave at 120 in 1973. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have temporarily surpassed this limit immediately following the intake of new members into the College of Cardinals.
Q. How many Americans are cardinals?
A. With the 2012 appointees included, there are 18 Americans in the College of Cardinals. Five U.S. cardinals head U.S. archdioceses: Cardinal Francis George (Chicago), Cardinal Sean O’Malley (Boston), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (Galveston-Houston), Cardinal Donald Wuerl (Washington), and Cardinal Timothy Dolan (New York). Three U.S. cardinals are Vatican officials: Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura; and Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Ten U.S. cardinals are retired: Cardinal William Baum (major penitentiary emeritus), Cardinal Edward Egan (emeritus, New York), Cardinal William Keeler (emeritus, Baltimore), Cardinal Bernard Law (archpriest emeritus of the Basilica of St. Mary Major), Cardinal Roger Mahony (emeritus, Los Angeles), Cardinal Adam Maida (emeritus, Detroit), Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (emeritus, Washington), Cardinal Justin Rigali (emeritus, Philadelphia), Cardinal James Stafford (major penitentiary emeritus), and Cardinal Edmund Szoka (former president of the Pontifical Council for Vatican City).
Q. How many U.S. cardinals are eligible to vote in a conclave?
A. As of February 2012, 12 U.S. cardinals – Burke, DiNardo, Dolan, Egan, George, Levada, Mahony, O’Brien, O’Malley, Rigali, Stafford, and Wuerl – are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave. Americans comprise the second largest national voting bloc in the College of Cardinals, behind Italy.
Q. How many cardinals has Pope Benedict named?
A. In his almost seven years as pope, Benedict XVI has named 89 new cardinals, 63 of whom are currently under 80. As 124 of the 213 living cardinals are currently under 80, this means, as of 2012, Pope Benedict has named just over half the cardinals who will elect his successor.
Q. How many Americans has Pope Benedict made cardinals?
A. Pope Benedict XVI has elevated two Americans to the College of Cardinals at each of the four consistories held in his pontificate, for a total of eight. In fact, the first cardinal elevated by Pope Benedict (his “first creation,” a special honor) was Cardinal William Levada in 2006. Cardinal Levada is prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the job held by Pope Benedict prior to his election. The other Americans named by this pope are: Cardinal O’Malley (2006), Cardinal DiNardo and the late Cardinal John Foley (2007), Cardinals Wuerl and Burke (2010), and Cardinals Dolan and O’Brien (2012).
Q. Does a cardinal have to be a bishop?
A. Canon 351 of the Code of Canon Law states that the pope freely selects cardinals from among men who have been ordained priests and that “those who are not yet bishops must receive episcopal consecration.” There have, however, been exceptions, such as in 2001 when Pope John Paul II elevated 82-year-old U.S. Jesuit Father Avery Dulles to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Dulles requested a dispensation from the episcopacy, which the pope allowed, meaning he simply remained a Jesuit priest. As he was made a cardinal after his 80th birthday, Cardinal Dulles was never eligible to vote in a conclave. John XXIII made the rule that all cardinals must be bishops. The 1918 Code of Canon Law stated that all cardinals must be priests. Prior to that time, deacons and laypeople could also be cardinals, though the last lay cardinal was named in the 19th Century.
Sources: The 2012 Catholic Almanac and USCCB archives
Following is a brief explanation of the process used in a conclave to elect a new pope.
Q: Who governs the church until a new pope is elected?
A: Day-to-day operations are handled by the Vatican curia, the central bureaucracy. All prelates who head Vatican agencies resign after the death of a pope. Provisions are made to oversee the papal household, the spiritual needs of Romans and to grant absolutions.
Q: What does the word "conclave" mean?
A: The word comes from the Latin, "with a key," referring to the tradition of locking the doors until cardinals elect a winner.
Q: Who is eligible to be elected pope?
A: Technically, any baptized male Catholic is eligible but since 1378, new popes have come from within the College of Cardinals.
Q: Who sets the rules for how a pope is elected?
A: A 1996 document by Pope John Paul II, "Universi Dominici Gregis," lays out the framework for the conclave. Other details and traditions have evolved over time.
Q: What language is used in a conclave?
A: Traditionally, Latin has been the lingua franca of the church. However, with a global church, Latin has fallen away. While some details already call for Latin – "extra omnes!" (all out!) is used to shoo everyone out of the Sistine Chapel – others will likely be replaced by Italian, Spanish, English or any of the above.
Q: Does a conclave ever convene for any other reason?
A: No. Any pope can call together cardinals for advice or any other purpose, but a conclave is only used to elect a pope.
Q: Who may participate in a conclave?
A: There are 117 cardinals who are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to participate in the conclave. Older retired cardinals may participate in discussions leading up the conclave but may not vote. Two cardinals were absent from the conclave because of illness.
Q: Are women or laypeople involved?
A: Outside of cooks or housekeepers, no. Only cardinals – who by definition are male priests – may participate.
Q: Who are the Canadians who will participate?
A: There are three Canadian cardinals who are eligible to participate. They are:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellett, the Archbishop of Quebec
- Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, the Archbishop of Montreal
- Cardinal Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic, the Archbishop of Toronto
Two other Canadian cardinals are too old to vote.
Q: Is the conclave open to the public?
A: Absolutely not. The voting is conducted behind closed-doors under the tightest security. The conclave is closed to allow the cardinals to cast their votes without outside influence or pressure. Anyone associated with the conclave must take a vow of secrecy.
Q: Where is the conclave held?
A: Voting is held inside the Sistine Chapel, under Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Cardinals will stay in the Casa Santa Marta, a $20-million hotel-style residence inside the Vatican walls built by Pope John Paul II. Cardinals may not leave the Vatican grounds until a conclave concludes.
Q: What are the factors likely to influence the voting?
A: Officially, the church says only the Holy Spirit will influence the results. But church watchers say a new pope will win based on several criteria: age, nationality, life experience, personality, and positions on major issues facing the church.
Q: Are overt campaigning or backroom deals allowed?
A: After the death of a pope, discussions prior to the conclave are expected, but campaigning is discouraged. Paper ballots are cast in silence, leaving discussions and arguments to be held outside the Sistine Chapel. Alliances are natural, but cardinals are forbidden to buy votes or make deals; John Paul II said his successor would not be bound by promises made prior to the election.
Q: When does the voting occur?
A: The first ballot may be held on the first afternoon of the conclave following morning Mass. After that, there are two ballots in the morning and two ballots in the afternoon until a pope is elected.
Q: How long does the voting continue?
A: Ballots are cast until a winner receives the necessary two-thirds majority. After three days of unsuccessful balloting, cardinals take a break and resume after a short spiritual talk. Voting then continues for another seven votes, followed by another break, and an additional round of seven votes. After about 30 ballots or about 12 days, the cardinals may vote to waive the two-thirds requirement and elect a pope with an absolute majority.
Q: Who counts the ballots?
A: The conclave features elaborate voting and vote-counting procedures to prevent fraud. Cardinals are selected by lot to count and double-count the ballots and collect votes from sick cardinals.
Q: How does a cardinal become pope once he is elected?
A: Simply by answering "I accept" to the question, "Do you accept your canonical election as supreme pontiff?" (In the unlikely event that the new pope is not already a bishop, he must first be consecrated a bishop by the cardinals.)
Q: Can a pope refuse his election?
A: Technically, yes, although it has been centuries since any cardinal has done so. In 1271, St. Philip Benizi fled the conclave and hid until another man was elected. St. Charles Borromeo declined election in the 16th century, and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine did the same in the 17th century.
Q: How does a pope choose his papal name?
A: Simply put, he takes whatever name he chooses. There is no law that mandates a new name, but the practice has been standard for about the last 1,000 years. Some honour a favorite saint or a beloved pope. Others honour their predecessors – John Paul II followed John Paul I, who succeeded Paul VI and John XXIII. The only name that is sacrosanct is Peter, the first pope.
Q: What does the white smoke mean?
A: Ballots are burned in a special stove, whose chimney is visible to onlookers in St. Peter's Square. Black smoke means there is no winner; white smoke means a new pope has been elected. The only record of the voting is a document prepared at the end of the election. It is given to the new pope and placed in a sealed envelope in the archives, only to be opened with papal permission.
Q: How does the world know a new pope is elected?
A: After white smoke swirls up for the chimney, a senior cardinal will announce from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus papam" – "I announce to you news of great joy. We have a pope."
Q: What is the new pope's first official act?
A: By tradition, after changing into his white papal vestments, the pope delivers his first "urbi et orbi" blessing to the city of Rome and the world.
Q: What are the official ceremonies following the election?
A: About a week after his election, the new pope will celebrate his installation Mass inside St. Peter's. The new pope will also take possession of his cathedral, St. John Lateran, as bishop of Rome.
SHARED FROM 2005 Religion News Service
NAMES OF CARDINALS ELIGIBLE FOR PONTIFICATE
NAMES OF CARDINALS ELIGIBLE FOR PONTIFICATE
Cardinal Walter Kasper turns 80 March 5; depending on the date of the conclave, he might be over 80, and thus too old to vote in a conclave. The next oldest, Cardinal Severino Poletto of Turin, Italy, turns 80 March 18.
– Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. — Severino Poletto of Turin, Italy.
– Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara, Mexico.
– Godfried Danneels of Mechelen-Brussels.
– Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago de Chile.
– Raffaele Farina, retired head of the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library.
– Geraldo Majella Agnelo of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
– Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Germany.
– Raul Vela Chiriboga of Quito, Ecuador.
– Giovanni Battista Re, former prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
– Giovanni Battista Tettamanzi of Milan.
– Francesco Monterisi, retired secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.
– Claudio Hummes, retired prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
– Carlos Amigo Vallejo of Seville, Spain.
– Paolo Sardi, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State.
– Paul Josef Cordes, past president of Cor Unum.
– Franc Rode, retired prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
– Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state.
– Julius Darmaatmadja, Jakarta, Indonesia.
– Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
– Giovanni Lajolo, former president of the commission governing Vatican City State.
– Antonios Naguib, Alexandria, Egypt.
– Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.
– Velasio De Paolis, papal delegate overseeing reform of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi.
– Santos Abril Castello, archpriest of Basilica of St. Mary Major.
– Jose da Cruz Policarpo, Lisbon, Portugal.
– Roger Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles.
– Julio Terrazas Sandoval of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
– Ivan Dias, former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
– Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany.
– William Joseph Levada, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
– Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos, Nigeria.
– Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal.
– Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid.
– Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana.
– Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
– Ennio Antonelli of Florence, Italy.
– Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal.
– Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
– Francis George of Chicago.
– Audrys Juozas Backis Vilnius, Lithuania.
– Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil.
– Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
– Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain.
– Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.
– Paolo Romeo of Palermo, Italy.
– Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Interpreting Legislative Texts.
– Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland.
– Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
– Carlo Caffarra, of Bologna, Italy.
– Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.
– Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
– Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland.
– John Tong Hon of Hong Kong.
– Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland.
– Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo.
– Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
– Telesphore Toppo, of Ranchi, India.
– Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch.
– Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome.
– Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.
– Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum, Sudan.
– Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa.
– George Pell of Sydney.
– Angelo Scola of Milan.
– Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City.
– Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela.
– Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia.
– Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
– Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
– Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris.
– Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
– Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, Italy.
– Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.
– Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
– George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, major archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
– Dominik Duka of Prague, Czech Republic.
– Crescenzio Sepe of Naples, Italy.
– Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
– Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica.
– Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
– Juan Cipriani Thorne of Lima, Peru.
– John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.
– Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
– Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston.
– Polycarp Pengo of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
– Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
– Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux, France.
– Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India.
– John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya.
– Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.
– Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
– Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
– Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
– Llovera Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
– Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
– Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.
– Giuseppe Betori of Florence, Italy.
– Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
– Albert Malcom Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
– Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature.
– Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
– Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara, Mexico.
– Josip Bozanic of Zagreb, Croatia.
– Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.
– Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo.
– James M. Harvey, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
– Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, Poland.
– Timothy M. Dolan of New York.
– Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
– Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France.
– Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary.
– Willem Jacobus Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands.
– Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany.
– Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin.
– Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines.
– Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.