We’re frequently reminded that the Catholic Church is not a democracy. I’m curious though if she could ever in theory be a sort of quasi-democracy to the extent that the Pope is elected. The office of the Pope is of divine institution, but how the Church picks who fills that office seems to be a matter of reformable discipline. Historically Popes have been called by their predecessors, elected by the faithful of the city of Rome, elected by the Roman clergy (pre-Cardinalate), installed by imperial fiat, manipulated into office by Italian dynasties, and only recently elected by conclave.
Since the manner by which the Pope is selected is clearly not one of faith or morals (and therefore not irreformable), couldn’t the Church in theory amend canon law such that every confirmed Catholic is eligible to cast a ballot for a papal contender during a sede vacante? Once the Pope is named he is then in office until death or abdication just as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end, amen.
Is there some obscure dogma that I’m not aware of which would render this theoretically impossible?