Can an Eastern Catholic become Pope?

Hello,

I hope this isn’t in the wrong section, if it is, I’m sorry and it can be moved.

My question is, can an Eastern Catholic become Pope? To me, I think he should be able to, but seeing as how I don’t know the ins and outs of canon law, I ask this question.

Have there ever been any Eastern Catholic Popes throughout our 2000 year history?

Thanks in advance.

Pace e Bene
Andrew

In the early Church there were a lot of Popes chosen from the East, among them Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho.

Peter

Yes, an Eastern rite Catholic could become pope.

But, the moment he was elected he’d suddenly be a member of the Roman rite. He’d have to be, as one of the roles of the pope is the Bishop of the Roman rite diocese of Rome. His duties include celebrating masses and other liturgical events in the Roman rite.

As the worldwide head of the Roman rite, he’d be a member of it, even if he was an Eastern rite Catholic before his election.

Technically, all the Popes are Eastern Rite. . . in addition to being Western Rite. Though no Pope has taken advantage of it recently, the Pope can offer Divine Liturgy in any form the Church possesses. He has “Universal” faculties.
I think it is very unlikely that any of the Eastern Bishops will be elected any time soon, but who am I to tell the Holy Spirit who to choose.

Yours in Christ,
Thursday

Hello,

Any male Catholic can become the Pope. That includes those in the Eastern Rites. In fact, during the conclave that elected Pope John XXIII (~50 years ago), the Catholicos of the Armenians came very close to being elected Pope.

During his trip to Ukraine in 2001, John Paul celebrated the Ukrainian Byzantine Divine Liturgy.

[quote=Thursday1]I think it is very unlikely that any of the Eastern Bishops will be elected any time soon, but who am I to tell the Holy Spirit who to choose.
[/quote]

The pope is chosen by the college of cardinals. The Holy Spirit merely guides them.

Do you by any chance have a cite? I had not heard this before.

Hello,

I have heard this from several sources, usually from the memoirs of those who participated in it. I doubt that you’ll find completely accurate results and statistics that we can be certain of, due to the secrecy involved with all papal conclaves.

While not the most reliable source, wikipedia posts results from the conclave. Grégoire-Pierre Cardinal Agagianian was the Catholicos at that time.

I recall the discussion at the time - all hearsay. Several of us were praying for his election.

You are exactly right. So, in more or less words, he would have to stop wearing that black veil thing. :smiley:

At this time, no.

–> waiting for the question…

<<Hello,In fact, during the conclave that elected Pope John XXIII (~50 years ago), the Catholicos of the Armenians came very close to being elected Pope.
Do you by any chance have a cite? I had not heard this before>>

This would not be a “site,” but I heard of it years ago–Gregory Peter Arganian (I think was his surname).

At the most recent conclave, Lubomir Cardinal Husar, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, was papabile. (BTW–he served as a while in the USA.)

And the question would be why not?..

The answer being the “Chair of Peter is not vacant at this time!”
:thumbsup:

And this is an aside comment on historical papal question/thought: during some periods it seemed that one had to be italian…but alas time and history show this to be false…

When the Chair is vacant it is possible

Any catholic male [of any rite] can be elected pope…they might have to recieve ordination, become a bishop etc…

Most likely a catholic bishop [from any rite] will be chosen, and will probably be in the conclave [and therefor one of the cardinal eectors]…IMHO

Shoot, you guessed it. :wink: Good Job.

Yes and switch to a white one
:smiley:

Quite definitely. But as to the fact if popes have come out of that tradition, I don’t know. The closest one was John Paul II.

<<You are exactly right. So, in more or less words, he would have to stop wearing that black veil thing. >>

That black veil thing is called a klobuk, and is part of the monastic habit; all Byzantine (or at least Orthodox) bishops are monks.

But certain Slavic archbishops and metropolitans wear a white klobuk.

If an Eastern Catholic prelate were to be elected Roman pontiff, doubtless the secular media would say, “Non-Catholic elected Pope!”

1 Like

At the time of the repose of Pope Pius XII, His Beatitude Krikor Bedros (Gregory Peter) XV Cardinal Aghaganian, of blessed memory, was considered a strong candidate for election to the papacy.

Having retired the year previous, he was then Emeritus-Catholicos & Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenias for All the Catholic Armenians and was serving as Prefect of the Congregation for Propagation of the Faith. I’d have to double-check but, as memory serves, he and His Beatitude Ignace Gabriel Cardinal Tappouni, of blessed memory, Patriarch of Antioch & All the East of the Syriacs were the sole Eastern/Oriental Catholic cardinals at the time.

Life Magazine ran an article on papabile, including photos of each. His Beatitude, who was a handsome man, made a striking impression in a full-page photo, garbed in the non-liturgical vesture appropriate to a patriarch. Since it was likely the first exposure of the average American to any Eastern hierarch (Westerners, including Catholics, knew even less of us then than they do now - difficult as that may be to believe), I’m sure it made a vivid impression on the magazine’s readers. I know it did on me - and I had significantly more experience of the East than did the many of my fellow American Latins.

Certainly, as is always the case with papabile. the discussion of him as likely to be elected was speculative, but I would disagree with my brother Joe’s dismissal of how close he came to such as being mere hearsay. There were convincingly strong reports (to the absolute puzzlement of folks who could not fathom who or what a patriarch was) that, other than Cardinal Roncalli who went on to be elected, he was the principal vote-getter .And, in later years, a prominent hierarch who was not yet a Cardinal at the time of Blessed John XXIII’s election was heard to affirm in conversation that he personally knew this to have been the case.

Why would he have been such a strong candidate? He was a very affable man, quite personable, multi-lingual, and reportedly highly regarded by his fellow hierarchs. Too, it was the Cold War era and the idea of electing a Pope with ties to a suppressed nation might have appealed as possibly being someone who could successfully deal with Communism. Guesses? Certainly, but there is no doubt in my mind that His Beatitude was “in the running”.

Many years,

Neil

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