Layman As Pope?


Though improbable, is it technically possible for a layman to be elected Pope? I understand this has happened in the past, with the person being ordained so that he could be the bishop of Rome. How many times has this happened and who was the last one? A reliable reference would be a big help. Thanks.


Any male Catholic is eligible to be elected as pope. A layperson, if elected, would have to be ordained to the episcopacy before being installed as pope. That’s unlikely to happen. I don’t know if or when it has happened in the past.


As far as I know, no layman has ever been named pope. However, Saint Ambrose was a catechumen when he was chosen as bishop of Milan.


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