Another conclave question


#1

If I recall hearing this correctly, at a conclave the cardinal electors are required to take their slip of paper to the front and then state a promise that "this is the person I truly believe to be the best candidate as pope" (or something similar; of course it's in Latin).

That promise is true for the first ballot, but in order to get the two-thirds majority it's obvious that some cardinals are going to have to change their vote on subsequent ballots. Must they still say that promise for, say, the fourth or fifth ballot? Because by that time they might not be voting for the person whom they believe to truly be the best candidate!


#2

Some people don't hear the Holy Spirit as quickly as others.

That is why there is so much prayer involved in the process.

Some may go into Conclave with their "man made" idea of who to vote for, but then the Holy Spirit gently guides them in the right direction.

That's my thought anyway.


#3

There's no reason why, each time they vote, they should not believe fully that their choice is the right one.

Remember, it's the choice in the present circumstances... as each round of voting is complete, the present circumstances change and with it their understanding of who the best choice is.

Otherwise, you might as well have only the one vote and choose the winner on a 'first past the post' basis... which would probably lead to some very overt politicking in advance of the conclave, which wouldn't necessarily be becoming.


#4

[quote="twopekinguys, post:2, topic:318967"]
Some people don't hear the Holy Spirit as quickly as others.

That is why there is so much prayer involved in the process.

Some may go into Conclave with their "man made" idea of who to vote for, but then the Holy Spirit gently guides them in the right direction.

That's my thought anyway.

[/quote]

I agree.

Also, to put it in a different context, at least an historical. In the past many Cardinal electors were influenced by outside forces, money, promises etc etc.

Hopefully, when they make this declaration, what they are saying is that in their conscience, who they are voting for they do feel is the right person.


#5

The goal is to elect a Pope, not vote for the best candidate. After you see that a certain candidate has gotten a number of votes, and that others believe he is the best candidate, you can change your mind. Or vice versa, that someone you thought was good has no support. Otherwise they'd be deadlocked forever. The best candidate the first time through might be someone you like for certain reasons, but when you see that a certain candidate has a large amount of support, or a candidate has no support, you may change your mind.

IMO the promise is there to make sure you are voting from your best judgement, and not because you have been bribed or threatened or coerced to vote for someone.


#6

[quote="twopekinguys, post:2, topic:318967"]
Some people don't hear the Holy Spirit as quickly as others.

That is why there is so much prayer involved in the process.

Some may go into Conclave with their "man made" idea of who to vote for, but then the Holy Spirit gently guides them in the right direction.

That's my thought anyway.

[/quote]

Does the Holy Spirit pick the pope? Ratzinger didn’t think so.


#7

[quote="Elizium23, post:6, topic:318967"]
Does the Holy Spirit pick the pope? Ratzinger didn’t think so.

[/quote]

I agree -- the Holy Spirit doesn't necessarily pick the pope. We know that the Holy Spirit protects a pope from officially proclaiming error in the realm of faith and morals.

My concern was a legalistic one: that despite the promise given at the ballot box, a cardinal may be voting for a candidate that might not be his first choice, but doing so in order to keep the conclave from going on for months.


#8

[quote="surritter, post:7, topic:318967"]
I agree -- the Holy Spirit doesn't necessarily pick the pope. We know that the Holy Spirit protects a pope from officially proclaiming error in the realm of faith and morals.

My concern was a legalistic one: that despite the promise given at the ballot box, a cardinal may be voting for a candidate that might not be his first choice, but doing so in order to keep the conclave from going on for months.

[/quote]

While the HS doesn't directly elect the Pope, I still believe he guides the electors, in order to keep the new Pope free from error in those matters.


#9

[quote="thomasf, post:5, topic:318967"]
IMO the promise is there to make sure you are voting from your best judgement, and not because you have been bribed or threatened or coerced to vote for someone.

[/quote]

Well stated.


#10

[quote="surritter, post:7, topic:318967"]
I agree -- the Holy Spirit doesn't necessarily pick the pope. We know that the Holy Spirit protects a pope from officially proclaiming error in the realm of faith and morals.

My concern was a legalistic one: that despite the promise given at the ballot box, a cardinal may be voting for a candidate that might not be his first choice, but doing so in order to keep the conclave from going on for months.

[/quote]

First choice does not always mean best choice.

Example - a cardinal goes into the first round and votes for A because they think A has a bunch of wonderful attributes that a Pope needs.

But lo and behold - Cardinal B gets by far the most votes of anybody in the first round, whereas A gets very few. The elector thinks to himself 'well, B lacks some of the attributes A has, but clearly has way more support from the other Cardinals - and having that sort of solid backing is a really important thing. In fact it's probably more important than those couplea things where I think A is better than B. besides, I've now talked to a few guys who know B and there are these other sides ro his character that I didn't knkw about before that I think are great. So I've now changed my mind, B is definitely the best person for the job.'

And in the second round accordingly votes for B.

It is about new information coming to light, which it isn't always possible to have to hand prior to the first round.


#11

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