Cardinals: Great Websites

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

I was researching information about cardinals and came upon some great websites I thought I share here.

I think this one is great and is continiously updated by Salvador Miranda. "The Library of Congress has included this site in its MINERVA Web Preservation Project.:

This other one is excellent too and gives the apostolic lineage of every Pope, Cardinal and Bishop.

I made them stickies in my computer. I think they would make great stickies in a Catholic Forum

Actually, what I am trying to find out is about the oath taken at the conclave. I just wondered if Cardinals for confidential reasons eliminate themselves to be elected Pope. Do the oaths have anything to do with assuring that the one elected is not going to bring scandal? I could not find my answer in the www. Any thoughts?



Those are two great websites. I’ve oft used the site, but I’ve never seen the one on the cardinals before. Very cool. :thumbsup:

All the current details about papal conclaves are laid out in John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis. The oath is taken from paragraph 12 of that document:

We, the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, of the Order of Bishops, of Priests and of Deacons, promise, pledge and swear, as a body and individually, to observe exactly and faithfully all the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, and to maintain rigorous secrecy with regard to all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff or those which, by their very nature, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, call for the same secrecy.

Next, each Cardinal shall add: *And I, N. Cardinal N., so promise, pledge and swear. *And, placing his hand on the Gospels, he will add: So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I now touch with my hand.

Hello Joe 5859,

I had skimmed Universi Dominici Gregis in the past but yesterday I read it. Thanks for the link.

What I understand the main concern for secrecy to be is so that the value of the elected Pope is not ever and under any circumstances to be put to question. Such as, for instance, by letting the public know that it was deadlock between x and y for thirty votes and the final deciding manner inwhich the deadlock was broken could be questioned. This seems to be the main concern.

I thought that perhaps, one of the reasons for the secrecy was because some cardinals would eliminate themselves due to the fact that they may bring scandal to the church or something disqualifies them and that although the ‘something’ is mentioned during the conclave it works like a confession and must be kept secret. But, this does not seem to happen at the conclave.

I just thought that the cardinals would take due deligence to assure that the elected Pope will not bring scandal to the Church. Actually, I cannot quote it now as I type but in Universi Dominici Gregis Pope John Paul the Great alludes to the human responsibility of the process, yes, it is the Holy Spirit that Calls but people need to be responsible. It’s like the priesthood. Yes, it is God that calls men to the priesthood but the people in charge of the seminaries need to take care of their responsibilities and assure that the men admitted and ordained are mentally healthy.

So, it does not seem that the secrecy has anything to do with assuring the qualification of the elected. Actually, I do not know what measures are taken if any to this end. Cardinal Law was at the conclave. True, he mismanaged a serious situation and it was not as though he committed the crimes himself, but, if he were elected Pope I think that this would bring scandal and hurt the Church. It could even be worst, if for instance, a cardinal that has problem himself is elected e.g. Hans Hermann Wilhelm Groër in his time.

There seems to be no measures taken to assure the cardinal elected would not bring scandal. Of course, God would bring good out of it at the end, but, I just thought measures are taken. Are there measures taken?

Obviously, we put a good deal of trust in the Holy Spirit to lead things in the right direction.

I am personally very grateful for the vow of secrecy. Imagine the drama if religious pundits were allowed to painstakingly analyze each and every vote. Imagine the hurt feelings for those Catholics whose Cardinal bishop was almost elected pope. No good would come of it.

I’m not sure of the answer, but I wonder if the results of the ballots are eventually made public (after enough time has passed where those involved have all passed on). I recall reading a book on Pius X which went into some detail on the conclave. I’m not sure if that was the result of actual historical data or if it was simply a fictionalized imagining of how it might have happened.

The oath is perpetual unless explicit authorization is granted by the Pontiff. In the event of a leak the Pontiff can explicitly authorize a cardinal to expose something about what happened in a particular conclave.

In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favour to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff.

I just try not to assume too much. So, I thought I research to see if indeed what I thought could be the case in the conclave that cardinals eliminate themselves ( in whatever manner and forever whatever reason - which they must disclose - it cannot simply be that they just prefer to retire or feel unworthy of the chair) for the better of the Church. There seems to be no measures taken at the conclave to this end. It seems to just be assumed that if they are cardinals they are worthy of the position.

This surprises me.

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