2 April 2005

fere sede vacante

Universi Dominici Gregis

61. Finally, in order that the Cardinal electors may be protected from the indiscretion of others and from possible threats to their independence of judgment and freedom of decision, I absolutely forbid the introduction into the place of the election, under whatsoever pretext, or the use, should they have been introduced, of technical instruments of any kind for the recording, reproducing or transmitting of sound, visual images or writing.

Chapter V: The Election Procedure
62. Since the forms of election known as per acclamationem seu inspirationem and per compromissum are abolished, the form of electing the Roman Pontiff shall henceforth be per scrutinium alone.

I therefore decree that for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff two thirds of the votes are required, calculated on the basis of the total number of electors present.

Should it be impossible to divide the number of Cardinals present into three equal parts, for the validity of the election of the Supreme Pontiff one additional vote is required.

Article 61 is evidently directed against the dangers of a blogclave. I'll put together a list of papabile some time today. Broadly, fat popes are succeeded by thin popes and whoever enters the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal. I don't think I'll surprise anyone by saying I think this pope was wrong on women priests, on gays, on abortion and contraception. He was blind in some ways when it came to the Third World. His inaction on clerical sexual abuse was a scandal. On human rights, peace, social justice and the environment he was almost always right and as harsh a critic of unbridled capitalism and war as he was of communism.

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