Could woman join the Papal selection process?


#1

I have been thinking about this for a few days and Michele Arnold’s interesting response to a recent post in “Ask an Apologist” was enough to get me to start this thread.

Although I am a Traditionalist in things Roman Catholic, it’s usually good to think outside the box and consider hypotheticals. :yup:

  1. Let’s not think about women becoming Pope or a Cardinal or needing to be ordained to participate in the Papal selection process.
  2. Instead let’s think about just changing the the process to admit women.
  3. Think about admitting women to the process early on in the preparatory discussions that go on among the electors when they are meeting each other and developing their choices.
  4. Then think about Mary’s role in heaven as Queen Mother and her relationship to the Trinity and especially to her Son. Fr. Corapi would have us believe, and he has convinced me, that she is VERY influential. God apparently values feminine input highly and rightly so: we are co-heirs as the Bible says.
  5. The idea that “those admitted to the Conclave are considered to be the “pool” of candidates from whom the pope will be selected.” would be obsolete.

All that being said,
a) How would the women be chosen?
b) How many women should be included? Enough to reflect that they are 51% of the world population. Dangerous thought; they’re usually 60+% of the church attendees where I go.

Maybe having a few multi-tasking women present, they could get the bells ringing at the same time the white smoke is generated! :smiley:


#2

I seem to remember that the laity (men and women both) were part of the papal selection process for the first 500 or 600 years of the Church’s history.


#3

The Cardinals select the Pope. But, while the Cardinals are normally appointed amongst the Bishops, priests and deacons, one does not need to be ordained to become a Cardinal. Appointment could be given to a layman, which would allow for women.

Thal59


#4

Like you said woman have been given a very important role. The Lord has give women the most influential role in the world, it is called Motherhood. Mother Teresa had incredible power, without having to be a part of any process.


#5

I’d wager to say Our Lady has a hand in it already.


#6

[quote=Thal59]The Cardinals select the Pope. But, while the Cardinals are normally appointed amongst the Bishops, priests and deacons, one does not need to be ordained to become a Cardinal. Appointment could be given to a layman, which would allow for women.

Thal59
[/quote]

Can you provide a link for this information?

Near as I understand the cardinals are assigned a church in Rome. To me this would mean that they would have to at least be a priest, but I think that they are all bishops.
If that is the case, I don’t think women could become cardinals, men could because they would be ordained through the ranks over several days. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.


#7

[quote=gelsbern]Can you provide a link for this information?

Near as I understand the cardinals are assigned a church in Rome. To me this would mean that they would have to at least be a priest, but I think that they are all bishops.
If that is the case, I don’t think women could become cardinals, men could because they would be ordained through the ranks over several days. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
[/quote]

Canon law requires that cardinals be bishops, or if not, then they need to be ordained as bishops. The Pope can dispsense from this requirement, as he did for Cardinal Avery Dulles. The Pope could drop this requirement altogether, if he chose to.


#8

Cool. Was he a priest, or a lay man when the rule was suspended? I think that if he was a priest, they probably made him a bishop autotmatically and if he was a lay man, then they would have done all the ordinations.

Either way, I don’t think women can be cardinals.

------------ about 5 minutes later

Ahh found my answer about Cardinal Dulles, he was priest that converted to Catholicism

ad2000.com.au/articles/2001/mar2001p12_158.html

It kind of reinforces that women would be excluded from being cardinals.


#9

[quote=gelsbern]It kind of reinforces that women would be excluded from being cardinals.
[/quote]

It would require a massive change in canon law to allow women to become cardinals, or for them to be otherwise involved in the selection of a new Pope.

However, such a change is theoretically possible, unlike the issue of women priests, which can never happen.


#10

[quote=Catholic2003]It would require a massive change in canon law to allow women to become cardinals, or for them to be otherwise involved in the selection of a new Pope.

However, such a change is theoretically possible, unlike the issue of women priests, which can never happen.
[/quote]

I think we need an expert opinion on this, I think is it IMPOSSIBLE theoretically or otherwise for a woman to become a cardinal because if a person selected to be a cardinal is not ordained, they go through ordination.

members.ozemail.com.au/~acolyte/Roman%20Catholic%20Vestments/hierarchy.html#cardinals

The Sacred College follows the Pope in precedence in the Church, and makes up an advising body similar to a senate. The position of cardinal does not add any episcopal jurisdiction, and so is properly not a hierarchical position. A bishop or archbishop who is named a cardinal keeps his see, be it residential or titular. His authority as cardinal (papal elector, member of the consistory and college, etc.) is in addition to his archiepiscopal or episcopal authority.

Most cardinals are previously bishops before receiving the title, but, if they are not, they are ordained bishop before being made cardinal.


#11

Women could not be pope because the pope is a bishop. A non-bishop could be elected, but he would have to be ordained because the pope is the bishop of Rome.


#12

I did a quick web search, and found this article, which says:

Contrary to popular perception, a cardinal does not need to be an archbishop or bishop. Two priests were among the 44 who received the red hat in February. Nor does a cardinal need to be a priest or deacon. It is an historical fact that through the centuries many people who were not ordained were named cardinals. Indeed, the origin of the College of Cardinals can be found in a group of Roman citizens sympathetic to the early church, who were able to open and close influential or threatening doors for Christians who had gone underground for fear of persecution. These citizens were named cardinals after cardo, the Latin word for “hinge.” They may or may not have been Christian themselves, but it is almost certain that most – if not all – were lay people. Indeed, as late as 1493 the infamous Italian duke, Cesare Borgia was named a cardinal even though he was not a cleric.

Therefore, while it is true that all cardinals today are priests, it is clear that this is a man-made rule that could be changed with the stroke of a pen. There is nothing to stop lay men being created cardinals. Nor is there anything to stop women being created cardinals either.

Indeed, if the pope were to appoint women cardinals, it would send out a clear and unambiguous message. It would show the church’s commitment to the equality of men and women. It would demonstrate clearly to women that the church is serious about encouraging their involvement in the church. It would prove that the prohibition on the ordination of women has nothing to do with the question of power in the church. And it would be a necessary and timely recognition of the absolutely integral role women have played and continue to play in handing on the life of faith.


#13

[quote=gelsbern]I think we need an expert opinion on this, I think is it IMPOSSIBLE theoretically or otherwise for a woman to become a cardinal because if a person selected to be a cardinal is not ordained, they go through ordination.

members.ozemail.com.au/~acolyte/Roman%20Catholic%20Vestments/hierarchy.html#cardinals
[/quote]

The original question asked if women could become part of the selction process, so the question as to whether women can become cardinals or not is a bit off topic topic. Cardinals currently elect the pope (well, not all Cardinals, only those under 80 y.o.), but the process by which a pope is elected/selected/chosen can change or be modified, as it has been throughout its history. Remember, JP II tinkered with the selection process alittle during his papacy, so Benedict XVI was lected under a slightly different process than was JP II.

Theoretically the process could be changed to include women religious, or even lay (men or women), though such a change is certainly unlikely.


#14

[quote=renee1258]Like you said woman have been given a very important role. The Lord has give women the most influential role in the world, it is called Motherhood. Mother Teresa had incredible power, without having to be a part of any process.
[/quote]

They ingore the fact that women cannot compete on an equal footing in roles designed for men. To plug them into such “slots” results in a change in the roles, and the change may have both and bad effects.


#15

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