Romano Pontifici eligendo

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Romano Pontifici eligendo was the apostolic constitution governing the election of popes that was promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1 October 1975. It instituted a number of far-reaching reforms in the process of electing popes. It set the maximum number of electors at 120 and restated in a more formal context the rule he had already instituted that cardinals over the age of 80 not participate in electing a pope.

An apostolic constitution is the most solemn form of legislation issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church received from Roman law.

Promulgation in the canon law of the Catholic Church is the publication of a law by which it is made known publicly, and is required by canon law for the law to obtain legal effect. Universal laws are promulgated when they are published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and unless specified to the contrary, obtain legal force three months after promulgation. Particular laws are promulgated in various ways but by default take effect one month after promulgation.

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.

Provisions

In November 1970 in Ingravescentem aetatem Pope Paul had prohibited cardinals over the age of eighty from participating in a Papal conclave to elect a pope. This new apostolic constitution incorporated that rule in the context of setting out regulations for the organization of a conclave. [lower-alpha 1]

Ingravescentem aetatem 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.

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 Catholic Church.

In March 1973, during a consistory to create new cardinals, Pope Paul had discussed plans to modify procedures for papal elections, including limiting the number of electors to 120 and adding as voters the patriarchs of the Eastern Rite churches, even if not cardinals, and the leadership of the Synod of Bishops. [1] He abandoned all of those ideas except one, and in this apostolic constitution set the maximum number of cardinal electors at 120. When his 80-year-old limit had taken effect on 1 January 1971, there were 102 cardinals eligible to participate in a conclave.

Pope Paul also imposed strict regulations on the physical organization of a conclave, including a requirement that the windows of the Sistine Chapel be boarded up. Cardinals found the restrictions excessive during the two conclaves of 1978 and Pope John Paul II dropped them in his 1996 apostolic constitution Universi Dominici gregis (1996).

Sistine Chapel Chapel in the Apostolic Palace

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

Pope John Paul II 264th Pope of the Catholic Church, saint

Pope John Paul II was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.

Universi Dominici gregis is an apostolic constitution of the Catholic Church issued by Pope John Paul II on 22 February 1996. It superseded Pope Paul VI's 1975 apostolic constitution, Romano Pontifici eligendo, and all previous apostolic constitutions and orders on the subject of the election of the Roman Pontiff.

Pope Paul had been crowned in June 1963 following his election but abandoned the wearing of a papal tiara in November 1964. [2] Nevertheless, in this apostolic constitution he wrote that a coronation would follow the election. His immediate successors John Paul I and John Paul II, chose not to be crowned [3] and the latter made no mention of a coronation when he revised the election process in 1996.

Papal tiara crown worn by popes of the Roman Catholic Church

The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 18th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign.

Notes

  1. John Paul II modified this regulation slightly in Universi Dominici gregis , changing the date by which the cardinal elector must not have turned 80 from the day the conclave begins to the day the pope dies.

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References

  1. Hofmann, Paul (6 March 1973). "Pope, at Installation of Cardinals, Details Possible Reforms in Electing Successors" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. Doty, Robert C. (14 November 1974). "Pope Paul Donates His Jeweled Tiara To Poor of World". New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  3. Homily of His Holiness Pope John Paul II for the inauguration of his pontificate