Books on Papal Elections
The period between the death of one pope and the election of the next is governed by complex and detailed procedures with a long history. In the case of a deceased pope (the pope can resign, though it is extremely rare), the papal funeral lasts for nine days. No later than 20 days after the pope's death, the next pope is elected by 120 cardinals (high-ranking bishops appointed by the pope). Voting is done by secret ballot in conclave, a locked meeting in the Sistine Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. A two-thirds majority plus one must be reached to elect a pope. For centuries, popes have been selected from among the cardinals, though any Catholic man qualifies. When a pope has been elected, the ballots are burned, causing white smoke to appear above the Vatican. If a vote has failed to reach a majority, water or a chemical is added so that the smoke is black.
|Conclave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election by John Allen, Jr.
The Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter explains the ins and outs of how the next pope will be elected and what effect that choice will have on modern life; then gives his critical assessment of the top 20 prospects among the 130-plus members of the College of Cardinals. 256 pages, softcover. ISBN: 0385504535.
|Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession
|Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections
The Papal Conclave is an event like no other. Highly secretive and conducted behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, it happens about eight times each century. It is an event that has evolved over the centuries and is always filled with high drama: cardinals meeting en masse in their scarlet robes, throngs of the faithful standing watch in St. Peter's Square, the white smoke billowing from the chimney signaling the election of a new Pontiff. Since secrecy was not heavily invoked until the twentieth century, there is a vast store of rich material that enables Fred Baumgartner to illuminate as never before all the bickering and blatant politicking that goes on behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel in this important and timely book. ISBN: 0312294638
|Selecting the Pope: Uncovering the Mysteries of Papal Elections
|The Next Pope: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at How the Successor to John Paul II Will Be Elected and Where He Will Lead the Catholic Church
| Passing the Keys: Modern Cardinals, Conclaves, and the Election of the Next Pope
by Francis A. Burkle-Young
Passing the Keys reveals one of the most heavily guarded and important histories in Christendom -- that of the papal elections. With its indepth descriptions of the elections and theological positions of Popes Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, this history provides the most complete picture available of modern Catholicism at the highest level. More important, the author looks ahead to the next conclave to examine likely candidates for the papacy and the most pressing theological issues -- including the current state of the priesthood and the debates waged over contraception and women as priests and bishops -- that confront the College of Cardinals and the Vatican. ISBN: 1568332327.
|Angels and Demons
by Dan Brown
The Illuminati has surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy -- the Catholic Church. World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon's worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican's holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival. ISBN: 0671027360.
| White Smoke: A Novel about the Next Papal Conclave by Andrew M. Greeley
Politics, intrigue, a Vatican banking scandal, and murderous intent threaten to rip apart the Catholic Church, as the College of Cardinals gathers to elect a new pope in this latest novel by bestselling priest-author Andrew Greeley. ISBN: 0812590554.