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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Dominici gregis is an apostolic constitution of the Catholic Church issued by Pope John Paul II on 22 February 1996.It superseded Pope Paul VI's 1975 apostolic constitution, Romano Pontifici eligendo , and all previous apostolic constitutions and orders on the subject of the election of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.
Universi Dominici gregis ("the Lord's whole flock", from the opening statement "The Shepherd of the Lord's whole flock is the Bishop of the Church of Rome, ..."), subtitled On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff , deals with the vacancy of the See of Rome, i.e., the papacy.
The constitution modified or in some cases confirmed the rules, for the conclave. It also clarified, during a sede vacante , which matters could be handled by the College of Cardinals and which matters were reserved for the future pope.
Universi Dominici gregis consists of an introduction followed by a body of 92 numbered sections, normally just one paragraph but occasionally more than one, and a concluding "Promulgation", which activates the document. The body is divided into two parts, but the 92 sections are numbered continuously.
During a sede vacante , the College has no power in things which pertain to the pope during his lifetime or of his office. Any such act that the College exercises beyond the limits expressly permitted by this document is null and void.
Chapter II deals with arrangements involving the public viewing and burial of the deceased pope and matters after his death and it provides for the organization of the College into a General Congregation and a Particular Congregation.
Strict secrecy is to be ensured throughout the process. Anyone violating the security of the Vatican, introducing recording equipment, or communicating with a cardinal elector in any way, risks excommunication. Other penalties are at the discretion of the incoming Pope. Participants are required to take oaths of secrecy.
Previously, in addition to secret ballot two other methods were allowed for the conduct of the election. A committee of nine to fifteen unanimously chosen cardinals might have been delegated, to make the choice for all (election by compromise , per compromissum). Alternatively, formal ballots could be discarded: in election by acclamation (per acclamationem seu inspirationem) the electors simultaneously shouted out the name of their preferred candidate. Both of these methods have now been abolished: the rationale given was that either compromise or acclamation would not require each cardinal to express his preference. Also, these two methods tended to produce controversy, and in any case neither had been used for quite some time—the last compromise election was of Pope John XXII in 1316, and the last affirmation (acclamation) election was of Innocent XI in 1676. As a result, election by secret ballot is now the only valid method of electing a Pope.
Universi Dominici gregis provided that Cardinals would be housed in Domus Sanctae Marthae, a building with dormitory type accommodation built within the Vatican City. Previously Cardinals were housed in improvised accommodations which were often noted for not being particularly comfortable.
The only papal election held under these rules without amendment was that of 2005 that chose John Paul's successor Benedict XVI.
On 11 June 2007, Pope Benedict XVI reinstated the requirement that a papal election require a two-thirds majority regardless of the number ballots taken.
After Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, on 25 February 2013, he issued another decree, Normas nonnullas , which allowed the College of Cardinals to bring forward the start of a conclave once all cardinals are present or delay the start a few days if serious reasons justify the change in scheduling. He also amended the rules to declare automatic excommunication of any non-cardinal who broke the oath of secrecy of the College of Cardinals during the proceedings. Previously any such person was subject to punishment at the discretion of the new pope.The new rules were first applied in the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.
A cardinal is a leading bishop and prince of the College of Cardinals in the Catholic Church. Their duties include participating in papal consistories, and conclaves when the Holy See is vacant. Most have additional missions, such as leading a diocese or a dicastery of the Roman Curia, the equivalent of a government of the Holy See. During the sede vacante, the day-to-day governance of the Holy See is in the hands of the College of Cardinals. The right to enter the Papal conclave of cardinals where the pope is elected is limited to those who have not reached the age of 80 years by the day the vacancy occurs.
A papal coronation was the ceremony of the placing of the papal tiara on a newly elected pope. The first recorded papal coronation was that of Nicholas I in 858. The last was the 1963 coronation of Paul VI, who soon afterwards abandoned the practice of wearing the tiara. None of his successors have used the tiara, and their papal inauguration celebrations have included no coronation ceremony.
The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its current membership is 223, as of 30 December 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.
A papal conclave is a gathering of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a bishop of Rome, also known as the pope. The pope is considered by Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Catholic Church.
A papal renunciation occurs when the reigning pope of the Catholic Church voluntarily steps down from his position. As the reign of the pope has conventionally been from election until death, papal renunciation is an uncommon event. Before the 21st century, only five popes unambiguously resigned with historical certainty, all between the 10th and 15th centuries. Additionally, there are disputed claims of four popes having resigned, dating from the 3rd to the 11th centuries; a fifth disputed case may have involved an antipope.
The papal conclave of 2005 was convened to elect a new pope following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April 2005. After his death, the cardinals of the Catholic Church who were in Rome met and set a date for the beginning of the conclave to elect his successor. Of the 117 eligible members of the College of Cardinals, those younger than 80 years of age at the time of the death of Pope John Paul II, all but two attended. After several days of private meetings attended by both cardinal electors and non-voting cardinals, the conclave began on 18 April 2005. It ended the following day after four ballots with the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After accepting his election, he took the pontifical name of Benedict XVI.
Papal inauguration is a liturgical service of the Catholic Church within Mass celebrated in the Roman Rite but with elements of Byzantine Rite for the ecclesiastical investiture of a pope. Since the inauguration of Pope John Paul I, it has not included the 820-year-old (1143–1963) papal coronation ceremony.
Carlo Mario Francesco Pompedda JUD was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura for the Roman Curia. He spent nearly fifty years in a variety of posts within the Catholic Church's ecclesiastical court system, from 1955 to 2004.
Habemus papam is the announcement traditionally given by the Protodeacon of the College of Cardinals or by the senior cardinal deacon participating in the papal conclave, in Latin, upon the election of a new pope of the Catholic Church.
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.
Protodeacon derives from the Greek proto- meaning 'first' and diakonos, which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning "assistant", "servant", or "waiting-man". The word in English may refer to any of various clergy, depending upon the usage of the particular church in question.
Acclamation was formerly one of the methods of papal election.
A conclave capitulation was a compact or unilateral contract drawn up by the College of Cardinals during a papal conclave to constrain the actions of the pope elected by the conclave. The legal term capitulation more frequently refers to the commitment of a sovereign state to relinquish jurisdiction within its borders over the subjects of a foreign state. Before balloting began, all cardinals present at the conclave would swear to be bound by its provisions if elected pope. Capitulations were used by the College of Cardinals to assert its collective authority and limit papal supremacy, to "make the Church an oligarchy instead of a monarchy." Similar electoral capitulations were used on occasion from the 14th to the 17th centuries in Northern and Central Europe to constrain an elected king, emperor, prince, or bishop.
The papal conclave of 1621 was convened on the death of Pope Paul V and ended with the election of Alessandro Ludovisi as Pope Gregory XV. It was the shortest conclave in the seventeenth century.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the Synod of Bishops is an advisory body for the Pope. It is described in the Code of Canon Law (CIC) as "a group of bishops who have been chosen from different regions of the world and meet together at fixed times to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world."
Pope Benedict XVI created 90 cardinals in five consistories. With two of those consistories he respected the limit on the number of cardinal electors set by his predecessors at 120. He exceeded that limit at the other three consistories, reaching as high as 125 in 2012.
The papal conclave of 2013 was convened to elect a pope to succeed Pope Benedict XVI following his resignation on 28 February 2013. After the 115 participating cardinal-electors gathered, they set 12 March 2013 as the beginning of the conclave. On the fifth ballot, the conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He took the pontifical name of Francis.
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.
In the course of his papacy Pope Benedict XVI issued two documents altering certain details of the procedures for electing a pope: De electione romani pontificis on 11 June 2007 and Normas nonnullas on 22 February 2013. These instructions amended the extensive set of rules and procedures issued on 22 February 1996 by his predecessor Pope John Paul II in his apostolic constitution Universi Dominici gregis.
Aeterni Patris Filius, also called Aeterni Patris, was a bull issued by Pope Gregory XV on 15 November 1621 that regulated papal conclaves. Together with the bull Decet Romanum pontificem of 1622, it formed the canonical basis for papal elections until the 20th century. The bull brought about many reforms to the papal election system, created structured rules, and sought to decrease the influence of organized factions within the College of Cardinals during the conclave as well as decrease the influence of secular monarchs on papal elections. It established general rules for the conclave process, while the later bull Decet Romanum pontificem addressed the ceremonial aspects of papal elections.