Electing a New Pope

Electing a New Pope

The procedure following the death of the Pope was revised by the Vatican in February 1996. The document (Universi Dominici Gregis, "The shepherd of the Lord's whole flock") replaces the previous instruction of 1975 from Pope Paul VI. The norms regulating the election of a successor have always been the remit of the Pope partly because of the need to take into account the “changing needs of the historical moment” and partly because the office of the Pope was divinely created. “The Shepherd of the Lord's whole flock is the Bishop of the Church of Rome, where the Blessed Apostle Peter, by sovereign disposition of divine Providence, offered to Christ the supreme witness of martyrdom by the shedding of his blood.” In this section you will find information on the process of burial and the election of a new Pope.

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When a Pope Dies

The procedure following the death of a Pope was revised by the Vatican in February 1996. The document (Universi Dominici Gregis, "The shepherd of the Lord's...Read more

Article

The Electors

Since 1059, the election of the Pope has been reserved to the cardinals alone and this is their principal function - this is the first thing said about them...Read more

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College of Cardinals

During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, laws issued by the Roman Pontiffs can in no way be corrected or modified. All heads of departments (including the Se...Read more