CONCLAVE, from middle French and Latin, meanin', "Y'all ain't gettin' outa heah, cause we has the key (clave) Might as well git to work."
Where? Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Rome, Italy.
By Tradition it's held in the Sistine Chapel, but Pope John Paul II made it part of papal law, an' the ballot box is right under the Judgment. Jes' a wee reminder for whom ya' does yore best.
Ya' mean they sleep in thar.? No....they's escorted back to their sequestered dormitory, Domus Marthae. Not exactly lux digs,
'tis a specially built an' digitally secure lodging. Pope John Paul II had this dorm built so that they din't have to sleep on cots an' use chamber pots--no, really. An' it is debugged and has hovercraft (or somethin') above it to jam all communications so's as to keep Aunty from whisperin' "SCOLA!!" in they ears. Thay ain't allowed no computers, phones, radios, walkie talkies, soup cans wif' wires..under pain of excommunication (no foolin') .
This is a smoke signal only event.
Longest papal conclave: 33 months, in 1286. Folks grew so aggravated they smashed in the roof of buildin' so rain would hurry the process. then reduced the cardinals to bread an' water. ( Before Sistine Chapel wuz built.) Result? Gregory X-- who then decreed that henceforth jes' one plate of vittles a day would be allowed until the conclave concluded.
Shortest: several times in the 1100's the new Pope was elected in jes' a day....hmmmn...so thas' why thar's an interregnum ("between reigns", a time out before a conclave may begin). Pope Benedict XVI wuz elected post haste by conclave standards wif' a simple majority as allowed by rules John Paul II put in place (now returned to a 2/3 vote via Benedict).
Who's eligible? Any baptized Catholic male. Thas' the rule, but the practice? Well, last time a non-cardinal got the White Robe wuz a monk, Urban VI in 1378.
Does they have to be Italian? Shure do help to at least be fluent in Italian. But, no. Benedict wuz Bavarian, John Paul II wuz Polish, Adrian VI were a Dutchman, Gregory III, he be a Syrian. 'Course, Peter wuz from Israel.
Who votes? Only the Cardinals--an' then only iffin' they's under 80 on the day the current Pope dies -- or resigns : ( .
This time around thas' 115 cardinals an the requires 2/3 to elect is 77.
How do they vote? The votes is done twice in the mornin', twice in the afternoon. Written by hand, unsigned, folded twice, an' ya gotta walk yore own vote up under Christ in Judgment to place it in the box...three counters, a tally then if no majority, them votin' papers is burned. Black smoke. 'Cept on Tuesday, the first day, when they's only gonna be one vote, in the afternoon.
Does Aunty want an American Pope? Merciful heavens, Spare Us Oh Lord!
Whomever it be, this new man will need yore prayers--some have turned it down, ya' know.
(As a rule, the idea is to find a man that is right fer the times--what is the most urgent need of the 1.3 billion Catholics? An' fer clarification on all that claptrap put out by CNN an NBC the pope ain't gonna ordain wimmen, or allow abortion or any number of other "modernizations" proposed by American networks. How come? Well, simply because the Pope ain't got that sort of authority--he has a boss, ya' see. I knows it's hard for some folks to git this after listenin' to the news, but the pope himself doan even think he has such power, cause these doctrines be anchored in truths that no pope invented so he cain't he undo 'em. )
An' NO, Pope Benedict XVI wuz not the target of some conspiracy--his own actions in the last six months indicate he planned fer this--strong an' certain moves on a chess board. Plain truth is iffin' a pope is infirm too long, a nest of bureaucrats try to rule by default. No final voice an' rule by committee is a disaster.
Benedict is short circuiting that whole mess. He done lost so much weight in last few months that the tailors wept. Reckon he must be physically frail enough that those grueling 15 hour days ain't possible.
How Can the new Pope git dressed in all that regalia in 40 minutes after the smoke an' bells iffin' somebody doan already know the chosen fella? Heh... see, they's been doin' this a few thousand years so, it's down to a science:
The papal tailors, Gammarelli, sew up three sets of vestments - small, medium and large. They's already been delivered: a white cassock, a white silk sash, a white zucchetto (skullcap), red leather shoes and a red velvet mozzetta or capelet with ermine trim. The Pope dresses by his ownself, puts on his a gold-corded pectoral cross and a red embroidered stole. (Popes used to wear red ( symbol of martyrdom), but when a Dominican St Pius V, cam on board in 1566-- he wuz Pope after all-- so his first papal decision were to keep his Dominican whites. These days, only the Pope's red mozzetta, capelet and shoes is red. The red Shoes is Prada, BTW, gratis, of course, since it gives the shoe company a big PR coup.
DO Aunty have the inside scoop? Or does she rely on Paddy?
I spent the last few days wif' a gaggle of bishops in Washington, but they ain't got no edge on Aunty, meanin' none has an edge.
Still....the fellas I most admire is prayin' fer Cardinal Scola of Milan, formerly the Patriarch of Venice. He taught in US fer a spell so his English is good, an' his grasp of thangs American is decent. But more to it, he is an expert on Islam--reckon we's gonna need that, but mostly? He's a top theologian. Doan know nuthin' 'bout no charismatic personality, an doan care-- gimme a fella wif' courage an' wisdom an' I'll pass on media charm. In the end, though, we's all prepared fer a surprise.
Do Aunty have the Pope Alarm app? Is the Pope Catholic?
Posted by Aunty Belle at 6:36 AM