Did Pope Benedict vote in last selection of Pope?

Since Pope Benedict resigned was he eligable to vote for his successor?

I believe he was not eligible due to his age.


I believe that technically Pope Emeritus Benedict relinquished the office of cardinal when he ascended to the papacy. Thus despite the fact that he was too old to legally vote (even if a cardinal) he would no longer be eligible. I could be wrong.

While he may not technically be a cardinal any longer, he is certainly accorded the dignity of being an honorary member of the College. He has been present at several consistories.

Why are Popes voted into office anyway? Why doesn’t God appoint them as he did the first one?

I believe it similar to the way in which the early disciples nominated and chose a replacement for Judas, as the twelfth disciple, unlike the manner in which Jesus had chosen the original twelve disciples himself.

Jesus left the Church in the hands of the apostles & their successors with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

You pose two different questions here. :slight_smile:

For the thread title, the answer is a clear no. Pope Benedict did not vote in the consistory that elected Pope Francis. At the moment of his resignation, he boarded a helicopter and flew to Castel Gandolfo where he remained until his new residence in the Vatican was ready. That was some time after Pope Francis had already been elected.

Your second question is “Was he eligible to vote?” In my mind, that is more of an open question. Since we do not have pope resigning on a regular basis, it’s one that never needed to be asked before. If Pope Benedict had said before he resigned that he wanted to take part in the consistory, I don’t think anyone would have told him, “No, you can’t do that.” :stuck_out_tongue:

That said, I think Benedict was both humble and wise in his decision to recuse himself from those proceedings by leaving the Vatican entirely during that period of time. It made it so that the question didn’t need to be answered.

I see the way I titled the thread and the body were two separate questions. Sorry about that. My intent was more was he eligible. I think the post about he age is correct. I don’t think he was eligible because of his age. Again that was not my intent in the question.

Not considering his age does he retain the right to vote for a successor? I think the answer is yes.

That would be a conclave, which is the name given to the process for electing a Pope. A consistory is a general meeting of the College of Cardinals, usually the time when new cardinals are created.

[quote=robertmidwest]Not considering his age does he retain the right to vote for a successor? I think the answer is yes.
[/quote]

This is still uncharted territory; I don’t think we’ll know the answer for sure until we find ourselves with a Pope Emeritus under the age of 80.

Oops. :blush: I knew that. The wrong word came out of my keyboard. :stuck_out_tongue:

This can’t be correct regarding guidance of the Holy Spirit when one looks at some of the terrible Popes that have ruled.

The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and kept infallible and indefectible, that part is true, and I think what the poster was trying to say. However, the election of Popes is not an indefectible work of the Holy Spirit. He may provide some level of assurance that the Cardinal-electors don’t totally mess it all up, but there’s no real insurance preventing a bad choice of Pope from time to time, and it has happened in the course of history.

It makes no sense that the Holy Spirit would allow “bad” Popes to lead the Church. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is supposed to be the insurance. It also brings about the question of how the Cardinals who are supposed to be leaders of the Church can make such horrible decisions on occasion.

But if you think that just the election of a bad pope can completely lead the Church astray, then you don’t know how the Church really works.

I didn’t say one Pope could lead the Church astray, but why allow such bad Popes at all? They are supposed to be the representative of God on earth.

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