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April 29, 2005

Comments

Lauda Jerusalem Dominum (dcs)

World War IV? Maybe this post belongs under the "Science Fiction" category.

One would assume that if there were no Cardinals, then the right and duty of electing the Pope would fall to the whole Church gathered in an Ecumenical Council. That's how the Great Western Schism was ended.

JohnH

One thing that I'm thinking of is that this last time there were 2 Cardinal-electors who were unable to come to Rome, and that those 2 would have to agree on someone.

However, I agree, there should be a provision (all Archbishops automatically become Cardinals?)

Geoff

I think WW III was the Cold War in Jimmy's chronology.

Jimmy's proposal doesn't specifically address the "no cardinals left at all" problem, but I would hope any such papal document would.

Ben

So wwho do we write to and what is there address to ask for an "act of the devil" clause for future conclaves?

Publius

One would assume that if there were no Cardinals, then the right and duty of electing the Pope would fall to the whole Church gathered in an Ecumenical Council. That's how the Great Western Schism was ended.

This is all the more reason to outline precisely what should happen under such circumstances. The very last thing the Church needs is another Council of Constance.

Paul H

Thanks for addressing this issue, Jimmy. This is something I have wondered about for years. And I actually was somewhat glad to know that two of the Cardinal electors were unable to attend the most recent conclave (not glad that they were ill though), because I was worried about the possibility of just such a contigency.

S.F.

I actually thought about such a circumstance during the conclave. Although very unlikely, it's not outside the realm of possibility. No way it is science fiction. They are all right there in that one building.

Pope Benedict should provide for such a situation. I would argue that in such a case it may be best for the clergy of the diocese of Rome to meet and select their new bishop from among themselves. Although it is likely that a few elderly cardinals will still be alive, what if the terrorists attack at one of the general meetings before the actual conclave. It is conceivable that all cardinals except those too gravely ill to get to Rome would be dead.

Ellen

Didn't something like this happen in R.H. Benson's old book Lord of the World?
If I remember correctly, Rome was bombed by the New Age world government and only a few cardinals were left alive. They ended up in the Holy Land, and elected the new pope there.
I'll have to re-read it to be sure.

Geoff

Didn't something like this happen in R.H. Benson's old book Lord of the World?

Yes indeed. Only two were left because they were en route elsewhere at the time.

Those who are interested can read Benson's excellent work http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14021>here.

Liam

Well, assuming the entire College of Cardinals is somehow destroyed, it would seem that the surviving incardinated clergy of the city of Rome would have to resurrect their aboriginal obligations to elect a bishop to fill the vacant see.

Publius

Well, assuming the entire College of Cardinals is somehow destroyed, it would seem that the surviving incardinated clergy of the city of Rome would have to resurrect their aboriginal obligations to elect a bishop to fill the vacant see.

Herein lies the problem: there could easily develop in such a stressful time disagreements about just who would get to elect the new Pope. Would it be the bishops of the world coming together in some sort of ecumenical council, or would it be the clergy of Rome? What if both decided their way was right and we ended up with another Great Western Schism, i.e., with two people claiming to be the Pope? This is precisely why it would be a very good idea for Pope Benedict to issue another Apostolic Constitution outlining what would happen under just such a contingency.

Publius

issue another Apostolic Constitution

I.e., adding to what was put forth in Universi Dominici Gregis.

Credo

When was WWIII?

Publius

When was WWIII?

The Cold War, by Jimmy's chronology at least.

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