Between 15 come 20 days after the fatality of the ahead Pope or, as in the case recently announced, after ~ the resignation that a Pope, the Papal Conclave begins.This allows for all Cardinal electors to come in Rome before the begin of the Conclave.

You are watching: How is a new pope chosen

Conclave comes from the Latin, cum + clavis, literally, "locked v the key." The term describes the reality that the Cardinals the voting age are locked inside the Vatican till a brand-new Roman Pontiff is elected.

With the start of the conclave, Cardinal electors space sealed in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. This walk not median they precise live in the Sistine Chapel. Quite they also have accessibility to locations for liturgical celebrations and the Domus Sanctae Marthae (accommodations because that the cardinals).

An vital note to keep in mind: no anyone can end up being Pope. Rather, just a male i was baptized Catholic can become Pope. Together well, as it must be emphasized, this is not like a local government election. Rather, the Catholic Church believes the is the divine Spirit that guides the procedure and for this reason the Cardinal electors room constantly in prayer and discernment to choose the next Pope.

As the cardinals get in into the Conclave, they swear an oath to secrecy concerning the occasions of the Conclave. The an initial day concludes with the very first vote. Then, top top the complying with days, two ballots are held in the morning and two in the afternoon till a pope is elected. The voting takes places as follows. Each Cardinal electors is provided a map on which they compose the surname of his choice. They fold it twice and then bring it approximately the altar where there is a receptacle and also state, "I contact as mine witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is offered to the one who prior to God ns think have to be elected." (This also connotes the truth that this election is guided by the catalyst of the holy Spirit.) After every the votes have been put forth, they space counted, and if one person has actually received 2/3 that the vote, the election is complete. If not, the balloting continues later in the day. The ballots are always burned. If the ballot is inconclusive, black smoke rises native the Sistine Chapel. If the ballot has chosen a new Roman Pontiff, white smoke rises.

If the Cardinal electors execute not agree top top a person after 3 days, over there is a day of rest for prayer and also discussion before voting resumes. There are breaks every 7 votes from then on till the 30th ballot. ~ the 30th ballot, just an absolute bulk was needed for a precious election. But this last dominion was adjusted in 2007 by Pope Benedict so the the 2/3 majority is nevertheless compelled for a valid choice no issue how many ballots have actually been completed.

When a brand-new pope has actually been elected, the Cardinal Dean or Cardinal very first in order and also seniority asks the elected person for his consent saying: Do you accept your canonical election as supreme Pontiff? and after the consent he additionally asks: By what name carry out you great to it is in called? ~ the acceptance, as lengthy as the human has currently received episcopal ordination, that is automatically Bishop the the Church that Rome, true Pope, and Head of the college of Bishops. If not, he is instantly consecrated together a bishop. This same Cardinal Dean will additionally announce come the city that Rome and also to the civilization the surname of the brand-new Roman Pontiff.

For much more information:

See more: How Big Is A 28 In Pizza ? (Use Our Pizza Calculator)

This question originally showed up on Quora. Much more questions on The Papacy:


Quora: the location to gain and share knowledge, empowering civilization to discover from others and far better understand the world.