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Thread: Possible Papal Successors; How They're Chosen

  1. #1
    Se7en Guest

    Possible Papal Successors; How They're Chosen

    A look at potential successors and challenges ahead

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German who is the Vatican's watchdog on doctrine. <li>
    Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria <li>
    Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Italy. <li>
    Cardinal Francis Arinze, of Nigeria. Based at Vatican, key figure arranging interfaith dialogue among Catholics, Muslims and Hindus. <li>
    Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina. Praised for humility, is advocate for poor and conservative on doctrinal issues. <li>
    Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil. Seen as progressive on social issues and conservative on doctrine. <li>
    Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico. Reputation as strict conservative in doctrine but outspoken against corruption, fraud and poverty. <li>
    Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. Multilingual, campaigned against corruption and foreign debt. Considered more liberal than other Latin American cardinals.

    Pope John Paul had a strong personality and hands-on management style. <li>
    Some want less Vatican input on day-to-day operations of dioceses. <li>
    Others believe Rome should stay deeply involved to crack down on dissent. <li>
    Some want more input -- saying cardinals and bishops should have more say. Others think power should remain almost entirely with the pope.


    The cardinals will look for a man with a strong command of English and Italian. <li>
    The next pope will need to communicate with the world's Catholics and with church officials in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Vatican.

    John Paul's papacy of 26 years has been one of the longest in church history. <li>
    The cardinals may back an older candidate as a "transitional pope" whose tenure may not be quite so long.

    John Paul was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. <li>
    Vatican observers disagree over whether there will be pressure pick an Italian again. <li>
    They could also feel pressure to pick someone from the Third World, where there is the greatest growth in the church.

    Church experts agree there's almost no chance. <li>
    The cardinals wouldn't want the impression that the church is influenced by the world's only superpower.

    Some Catholics hope that the church will make celibacy optional for priests. <li>
    Others hope women will be ordained. <li>
    Church experts say both are extremely unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    Choose A New Pope?

    Facts about how the Catholic Church chooses a new pope


    The new pope is chosen by cardinals who are 80 years old or younger. <li>
    They vote in rounds. Initially it takes two-thirds of votes to become pope. <li>
    After a number of rounds, it takes a simple majority. (See below). <li>
    The pope may be any baptized Roman Catholic male. <li>
    But it has been a cardinal since 1378.

    On April 18, the eligible cardinals start to meet in conclave. <li>
    The day starts with a 10 a-m Mass (4 a-m Eastern). <li>
    In the afternoon, the conclave takes the first vote. <li>
    After that, if no pope is elected, they vote twice each morning and once each afternoon. <li>
    If they haven't elected anyone on the first nine ballots, they can take a day off to discuss.

    The new pope is elected by the College of Cardinals. <li>
    Cardinals are next highest ranking members of the church after the pope. <li>
    When choosing the pope, they meet in what's called a conclave. <li>
    Only cardinals who are under 80 years old can vote or even enter the conclave. <li>
    There can be only 120 such cardinals at any one time. <li>
    The voting is done in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. <li>
    Cardinals vote by silent ballot.

    There are 117 eligible electors. <li>
    But two aren't participating because of poor health. <li>
    All but three had been appointed by John Paul II. <li>
    The average age of the electors is 71.7. <li>
    About 49.2% are from Europe. 16% of all electors are from Italy. <li>
    The Third World has 37.8%. (NOTE: this overlaps with other categories) <li>
    Latin America has 18.5%. <li>
    North America (US & Canada) has 11.7%. <li>
    Africa has 10.1% <li>
    Asia has 9.2% <li>
    The United States has 11 electors or 9.2%. That's the second highest for any country, following Italy.

    During the conclave, cardinals can't have any contact with the outside world. <li>
    That means no phone calls, newspapers, letters, e-mail or other communication. <li>
    Each voting cardinal fills out a paper ballot that reads "Eligo in suumum pontificem" or "I elect as supreme Pontiff...". <li>
    They write down their choice, fold the ballot and take it to the altar in the Sistine Chapel. <li>
    Each cardinal holds up the ballot high and then puts it into a chalice. <li>
    The ballots are burned after they are counted. <li>
    If a new pope is selected, they are burned to give off white smoke to let crowds know. <li>
    If there is no decision yet, the ballots are burned to give off black smoke.

    Comes from the dean of the College of Cardinals. <li>
    He steps onto the main balcony of the Vatican and declares to the World: "Habemus Papam!" "We have a Pope!"

  2. #2
    Skitch76 Guest
    So with a lot of those candidates being not-white, is there a good possibility of having the first Latin Pope or if Nigeria wins, the first black Pope? Interesting.

    That's pretty interesting (even though I'm not Catholic and don't agree with the amount of power the Pope is given).

  3. #3
    princesskittypoo Guest
    They can't have a woman pope yet cause it's against doctrine. that's all i learned today.

  4. #4
    Skitch76 Guest
    Protestant churches have women preachers...hopefully one day the Catholic church will see that it's OK too.

  5. #5
    danceyogamom Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Skitch76
    Protestant churches have women preachers...hopefully one day the Catholic church will see that it's OK too.
    I don't believe that issue will be addressed until the issue of celibacy is reconsidered.

    But due to the declining number of new priests, the Catholic church (at least the American faction) has to rely much more heavily on the Decan. In many parishes the decan is allowed to perform almost every priestly duty other than giving mass on his own.

    Decans are heavily schooled (although not fully ordained) and allowed to be married ...

    so my guess is that nothing will change as long as that system continues.

  6. #6
    Skitch76 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by danceyogamom
    Deacons are heavily schooled (although not fully ordained) and allowed to be married ...
    Oh I was thinking deacons were one step up from priests and therefore would be ordained. But I've never really known what deacons were for or anything so that's rather fascinating.

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