If an American Cardinal becomes Pope, does he still get to vote for president?

Basically just what the title says. If any American Cardinal (already holding every legal prerequisite to vote in the U.S. presidential election) was elected Pope, would they retain their ability to vote in our elections? Would this set a bad precedent?

If the man is still a US citizen, and assuming he went to live in Vatican City, he would be subject to the voting rules for US citizens living abroad, which means he would likely be able to vote in most US elections.

How is it “setting a bad precedent”? We already have probably thousands of US citizens living abroad and/or having dual citizenship who vote in US elections. It’s not some big new thing.


I think he means that if the Pope voted, say, Republican (I’m not American and I’m not sure if you guys vote for persons or parties or lists), it might influence many to also vote the same way.

The Pope is well aware of the need for the Church to remain separate from partisan politics. In USA there would be huge tax implications if the Church were seen as supporting a political party or political candidate. This has caused some clergy to get reprimanded if they do so much as write something in the church bulletin about supporting one candidate or not supporting another, or attending a Trump rally in a Roman collar and getting shown on TV.

Also, voting in the USA is secret. Therefore, I doubt that the Pope would reveal how he voted, and might not even reveal if he voted. A normal, prudent Pope could send in an absentee ballot and not be seen going in and out of a polling place, and refuse to answer any questions asking “who are you voting for in the next election” etc.

As for the “Catholics will all vote for the Pope’s candidate or the Catholic candidate” worry, people already worried about that in USA when John F. Kennedy ran for office and actually had a chance of winning. (Previous Catholic presidential candidates tended to lose.) There was even a joke that the Third Secret of Fatima (which was supposed to be opened and read in 1960) said “Vote for John Kennedy”. The concern was that Kennedy would win and then the Pope would just tell him what to do, so Rome would be running the country. Didn’t happen.

I think the US is past the whole anti-Catholic worry about Catholics all voting a certain way because “the Pope says”. It was perhaps a bigger worry prior to Vatican II because Catholics were generally more obedient to Church authority then. Nowadays, heaven knows that post-Vatican II, American Catholics don’t hesitate to disagree with the Pope on everything and anything. So even if people knew how the Pope voted, 90 percent of them wouldn’t care.


Interesting link attached.


Dolan’s never gonna be Pope, so they can stop worrying about him. Not sure about the other one.

Isn’t Pope Francis still Citizen Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina? I thought he still had his passport from there.


Guys, my concern was the precedent of another nation-state’s head of state having a say in the U.S. election. It just sounded non-kosher to my mind.

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