Electing a pope: conclave, oath, chimney smoke - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Electing a pope: conclave, oath, chimney smoke

Posted:

By The Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation sets in motion a complex sequence of events to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The laws governing the selection are the same as those in force after a papal death. Here is the procedure:

  • The Vatican summons a conclave of cardinals that must begin 15-20 days after Benedict's Feb. 28
  • resignation. Cardinals
  • eligible to vote - those under age 80 - are sequestered within Vatican City and take an oath of secrecy.
  • Any baptized Roman Catholic male is eligible for election as pope, but only cardinals have been selected since 1378.
  • Two ballots held each morning and two each afternoon in the Sistine Chapel. A two-thirds majority is required. Benedict in 2007 reverted back to this two-thirds majority rule, reversing a 1996 decision by Pope John Paul II, who had decreed that a simple majority could be invoked after about 12 days of inconclusive voting.
  • Ballots are burned after each round. Black smoke means no decision; white smoke signals that cardinals have chosen pope and he has accepted. Bells also signal the election of a pope to help avoid possible confusion over color of smoke coming from chimney of the Sistine Chapel.
  • The new pope is introduced from the loggia overlooking St. Peter's Square with the words "Habemus Papam!" (Latin for "We have a pope!") and he imparts his first blessing.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WAOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Chief Engineer Russ Crass at 715-842-2251. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.