Ingravescentem aetatem

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Ingravescentem aetatem (Ecclesiastical Latin:  [iŋɡraveˈʃentem eˈtatem] ) is a document issued by Pope Paul VI, dated 21 November 1970. It is divided into 8 chapters. The Latin title is taken from the incipit, and translates to "advancing age". It established a rule that only cardinals who have not reached the age of 80 can participate in a conclave.

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Incipit first few words of the opening line of a poem, song, or book, often used in lieu of a title

The incipit of a text is the first few words of the text, employed as an identifying label. In a musical composition, an incipit is an initial sequence of notes, having the same purpose. The word incipit comes from Latin and means "it begins". Its counterpart taken from the ending of the text is the explicit.

In 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI announced his plan to resign as pope, he described his reasoning with the same phrase: ingravescentem aetatem. [1]

Pope Benedict XVI 265th pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.

Contents

In this motu proprio , a document issued on his own authority, Pope Paul modified the rules governing the participation by cardinals in a papal conclave to elect a new pope and he set age limitations for some of their other responsibilities. It was a part of a broader program to use age restrictions to change the demographic profile of church leadership that included the retirement of archbishops and bishops at age 75 as urged in Ecclesiae Sanctae (1966). [2]

In law, motu proprio describes an official act taken without a formal request from another party. Some jurisdictions use the term sua sponte for the same concept.

Papal conclave Roman Catholic papal election

A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, also known as the pope. The pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Ecclesiae Sanctae"(Governing) of the Holy Church" – is an apostolic letter or Motu proprio issued by Pope Paul VI on August 6, 1966. Paul wrote this letter on how to implement the Vatican Council, especially as regards the conciliar documents Christus Dominus, Presbyterorum Ordinis, Perfectae Caritatis, and Ad Gentes.

He established a rule that only cardinals who have not reached the age of 80 can participate in a conclave. The key dates were the cardinal's birthday and the opening day of the conclave, since the rule stated that at age 80 a cardinal loses the right to "enter the conclave". [3] Also at 80, a cardinal's membership in the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and related institutions of the Holy See and Vatican City would now terminate. [4] [5]

A dicastery is a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus (1988), includes this definition:

By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Congregations, Tribunals, Councils and Offices, namely, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the central organization for the Church to advance its objectives.

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome, and the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholics around the world. As a sovereign entity of international law representing papal jurisdiction, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is sovereign. It is organized into polities of the Latin Church and the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

Ingravescentem aetatem also asked the heads of Vatican departments to submit their resignations from those offices "voluntarily" at age 75 and noted that the pope would determine whether to accept those resignations on a case by case basis. [6] [5] [note 1]

A cardinal's membership in the College of Cardinals was not otherwise affected. Ingravescentem aetatem specified they may participate in the several days of discussions that the cardinals hold before the start of a conclave. [8] Other provisions established procedures to be followed to substitute a cardinal for one excluded by age from a conclave where he had duties to perform, as in the case of the Dean of the College of Cardinals, [9] or to fill certain key offices vacated due to age while the papacy is vacant, such as that of the Camerlengo. [10]

College of Cardinals body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church

The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its membership is 219, as of 13 July 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.

Dean of the College of Cardinals president of the College of Cardinals

The Dean of the College of Cardinals is the leader of the College of Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church. The position was established in the early 12th century.

The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church is an office of the papal household that administers the property and revenues of the Holy See. Formerly, his responsibilities included the fiscal administration of the Patrimony of Saint Peter. As regulated in the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus of 1988, the camerlengo is always a cardinal, though this was not the case prior to the 15th century. His heraldic arms are ornamented with two keys – one gold, one silver – in saltire, surmounted by an ombrellino, a canopy or umbrella of alternating red and yellow stripes. These also form part of the coat of arms of the Holy See during a papal interregnum. The camerlengo is Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, appointed by Pope Francis on 14 February 2019. The vice camerlengo has been Archbishop Giampiero Gloder since 20 December 2014.

Pope Paul reiterated the rule restricting participation in conclaves by cardinals over 80 when he issued a general set of rules for conclaves, Romano Pontifici eligendo , in 1975. [11]

Impact

The immediate impact when the new rules took effect on 1 January 1971 was to eliminate the voting rights of 25 cardinals, 11 of them Italians, who were 80 years old on that day. It altered the cardinal electors as of that date from 127 with 38 Italians to 102 with 27 Italians. [12]

Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who had turned 80 just a month before the new rules were issued, said the Pope's action was "an act committed in contempt of tradition that is centuries old" and he was "throwing over board the bulk of his expert and gifted counselors". [13] Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, 86, objected that each cardinal's health should determine his fitness and suggested that 73-year-old Paul VI seemed frail. [14] [15] Though seen as a way to reduce the influence of some of the most conservative cardinals, [16] the new rule excluded as well Achille Liénart of Lille and Joseph Frings of Cologne, two of the leaders of the liberal wing of the Catholic church hierarchy at the Second Vatican Council. The New York Times reported that some observers thought Pope Paul was hinting that he would himself resign at 75. [12] [note 2] Pope Paul had in fact written a letter on 2 May 1965 in anticipation of inability to serve as pope until death. He wrote to the dean of the College of Cardinals that "In case of infirmity, which is believed to be incurable or is of long duration and which impedes us from sufficiently exercising the functions of our apostolic ministry; or in the case of another serious and prolonged impediment", he renounced his office "both as bishop of Rome as well as head of the same holy Catholic Church". [17]

The first conclaves to which Pope Paul's rule applied were those of August and October 1978, where 15 cardinals were ineligible to enter the conclave because of their age. [18] When the next conclave occurred in 2005, 66 cardinals were too old to participate. Cardinal Edward Cassidy, one of them, traveled from Australia to participate in pre-conclave discussions but defended the rule as an act of charity for allowing older members to absent themselves. He said that the sight of "people being carried up steps ... might make people wonder" about the suitability of the electors for their responsibility. [19]

Pope John Paul II in Universi Dominici gregis of 22 February 1996 modified the rule slightly to avoid having the exclusion of a cardinal depend upon the start date of a conclave, a date which the cardinals can modify. Instead he excluded any cardinal who reaches 80 before the papacy becomes vacant through the death or resignation of a pope. [20]

Notes

  1. Pope Francis modified this rule in 2014 to require such resignations. [7]
  2. One historian believes that when the six cardinal bishops elected Amleto Cicognani as Dean of the College of Cardinals in 1972 at the age of 89, they "implicitly rebuked" Paul VI for establishing an age limitation for serving as a cardinal elector. [16]

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References

  1. Faggioli, Massimo (2015). Pope Francis: Tradition in Transition. Paulist Press. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  2. Allen Jr., John L. (2002). Conclave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election. Random House. p. 79.
  3. Ingravescentem aetatem, II.2
  4. Ingravescentem aetatem, II.1
  5. 1 2 Beal, John P.; Coriden, James A.; Green, Thomas J., eds. (2000). New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. Paulist Press. pp. 472, 712. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  6. Ingravescentem aetatem, I
  7. O'Connell, Gerard (5 November 2014). "Pope Francis revises resignation norms for bishops and cardinals". America . Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. Ingravescentem aetatem, V
  9. Ingravescentem aetatem, VII and VIII
  10. Ingravescentem aetatem, VI.1
  11. Pope Paul VI (1 October 1975). "Romano Pontifici eligendo" (in Italian). Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  12. 1 2 Hoffman, Paul (24 November 1970). "Voting for Popes Is Barred to Cardinals Over 80". New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2017. However, there have been suggestions in recent years that Pope Paul intended to resign as head of the church on completing his 75th year.
  13. Friendly Jr., Alfred (27 November 1970). "Ottaviani Deplores Papal Action Barring Vote of Aged Cardinals". New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  14. "Crítica de dos Cardenales contra el Papa Paulo VI" (in Spanish). UP. 26 November 1970. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  15. Burkle-Young, Francis A. (1999). Passing the Keys: Modern Cardinals, Conclaves and the Election of the Next Pope. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 204. ISBN   1-56833-130-4.
  16. 1 2 Pham, John-Peter (2004). Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  17. Wooden, Cindy (16 May 2018). "Pope Paul VI prepared 'resignation letter'". The Tablet. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  18. Hofmann, Paul (9 August 1978). "Choice of Non‐Italian Pope Held Possible but Unlikely". New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2017. Among the 115 cardinals entitled to take part in the balloting — the 15 others are barred because they are over the age of 80 — only 27 are Italians.
  19. Walsh, Mary Ann (2005). From Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI: An Inside Look at the End of an Era , the Beginning of a New One, and the Future of the Church. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  20. John Paul II (22 February 1996). "Universi Dominici gregis". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 33. The right to elect the Roman Pontiff belongs exclusively to the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, with the exception of those who have reached their eightieth birthday before the day of the Roman Pontiff's death or the day when the Apostolic See becomes vacant.