Term limit for the Pope


I love and respect you, my CAF brothers and sisters, but I believe there are many capable leaders in the Church could do and would do an excellent job as Pope.
Health wise it might serve Popes, if they were to do like Benedict and just retire after serving for awhile.
I trust in the Church and it’s people. I don’t think a Pope should have to serve for life.


So you are saying that politics are rampant in the Church?
Another poster suggested that choosing a Pope is not like electing someone to political office.


The point is not that you, me or the cardinals think there are “many capable leaders in the Church” who “could do and would do an excellent job as Pope”.

The point is that from the beginning of the Church God has guided the Church to have the Popes serve for life. If God had wanted terms, He’d have guided the Church to do that. He didn’t.


The Pope is able to resign, if he freely chooses to do so.


Huh? Who’s getting out of joint on here?

I didn’t flag this, but if you want to create “discussion”, telling people they’re getting out of joint when they’re just answering you normally is not going to encourage folks to respond.


Sorry Friend. No offense intended!!! :hugs:


The Papal office isn’t a job or a function, or a project to get certain work done. It is, in principle at least, a quality of the individual elected to it. Once this quality has been recognized, it cannot be unrecognized either according to a time frame or for particular reasons or circumstances. The Papal office is therefore closely akin to a Kingship. This tends to be a little hard to understand for those who didn’t grow up in a monarchy, but really, kingship (and therefore the Papal office) isn’t simply the archaic forerunner of modern-day forms of temporal leadership. It is based on an entirely different premise, and neither time-limits nor other modern T&C are applicable to it.


Hey, I’m available. Pope Beryllos. Is has a nice sound to it.


God didn’t leave the ‘Church in charge’ like a group of men to do things independently as they wish, as they please.

No, Jesus left the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in all things. It’s up to the successors to the apostles to discern this, of course. But the constant here is the Holy Spirit.

So now, God didn’t just leave the Church without a guide to do whatever She wants.


I believe that God guides certain popes for certain reasons. Most rule until their death, which I appreciate, and some abdicate because they discern it appropriate.

Do I hope Pope Francis abdicates? Yes! Is it God’s will? I don’t know! Do I wish Pope Benedict were still Pope? Yes. Am I to judge? Absolutely not.

I don’t think Popes should have a term limit. He is God’s vicar. There could be many reasons for what is going on within a papacy.


Fine, you go first. But remember, I’m next in line :angry:


Great! You can be Pope Beryllos II.


It’s important, however, to note the difference between the pope and a constitutional monarch and how their very different roles affect the desirability of a very long reign. The UK has benefited immensely from the present queen’s 67-year reign, partly because she has been an exceptionally capable monarch and partly because she has exercised the duties of her office for longer than any other monarch in our history. But what the queen is required to be and what a pope is required to be are two very different things. Whereas the queen’s chief virtue is her ability to stand impeccably aloof from politics, it is the pope’s role to direct and determine the course of the Church during the period of his pontificate. The qualities that made a John XXIII or a John Paul II great popes would be the very same qualities that would be deplorable in a constitutional monarch. Conversely, the qualities that have made Elizabeth II perhaps the finest monarch in British history would make for a very poor pope. None of this is to say that popes should not have long pontificates, but the benefits of longevity in a pope would be not altogether the same as the benefits of longevity in a constitutional monarch.


One question, can we ever be re-elected? :thinking:


Yes, he is limited to one term.

Whereas in at least one case, an EP has served three . . .

If memory serves, he is the third (fourth?) to do so – ever.

And the second to survive the experience.


You’re forgetting Benedict IX :wink:


Correct, it would create more of a “political party” system within the Church than we already have.

Also, the Cardinals do impose “term limits” in a way when they elect a bishop in his upper 70s.


The pope is not a constitutional monarch. He is an absolute monarch. A very important distinction.


NO, lifetime appointments have their purpose and place, and it has served the papacy well. There are provisions for disability of the Pope, I think (maybe I’m wrong here). “Term Limits” come up in the context of republics and democracy.

Ideally, the election of a Pope in conclave is supposed to be done, seeking the assistance of the Holy Spirit, not the influence of a faction. Having said that I am aware that Pope St JPII changed the rules for a conclave and provided that at some point the election could be decided by a simple majority, rather than whatever majority is required for an early election.


Day 4 Livestream | SEEK2019

George Weigel St. John Paul II and the New Evangelization

6 Hours, 50 Minutes 51 Seconds to 6 Hours 52 Minutes 16 Seconds

“…with the Election of Pope Leo the 13th in 1878. 1878 Pope Pius the 9th died. He had been Pope for 32 years. That’s the longest pontificate in reliably recorded history and the College of Cardinals meeting after his funeral decided we don’t want to do that again, so were going to elect an old guy…And proven once again that you never know whats going to happen at a conclave, this old guy elected to kinda keep the chair warm for four or five years until the generational shift takes place proceeds to have the second longest Pontificate in reliably recorded history, until he was topped by John Paul the Second.”

Although its not a term limit, you can’t get away electing an old guy.

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