Tuesday, March 12, the spiritual and mysterious Conclave to elect the Pope’s Successor will begin in the afternoon, following a “pro eligendo Romano Pontifice” Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning. The 115 Cardinal Electors will gather in the Pauline Chapel for prayer and reflection, then process in the order of seniority to the Sistine Chapel invoking the Holy Spirit.
Once seated in order of precedence within the Sistine Chapel, a second meditation established by the Apostolic Constitution governing Papal transactions will be recited and then the 115 Cardinal Electors will vow an oath to observe the rules of the Conclave, which include to maintain fidelity to the election of the Pope, to retain secrecy, and never to support or favor interference.
Following the oath, all who are not Conclave participants and Cardinal Electors are ordered to vacate the Sistine Chapel. On the afternoon of the first day of the Conclave, one ballot may be held, however if no one is elected, four ballots are held on each successive day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon and if a result is not obtained after three days of balloting, the process is suspended for a maximum of one day to be used for prayer, meditation and reflection. A two-thirds majority is required for the election of a Pope.
Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA Examiner.com.