ISBN 10: 1413481221 / ISBN 13: 9781413481228
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Riassunto: WHEN THE POPE DIES the biggest story in the world stays on the front pages for at least 15 days until 135 cardinals assemble to choose his successor. Who will it be? The choice has immense implications, and not just for the world's 950 million Catholics. There are 194 cardinals altogether, and they gather in Rome from all parts of the world. Only those under 80 years old are permitted to vote, and of those Pope John Paul II appointed all but five. Voting is by written secret ballot and although the number has varied over the years, the requisite majority is now two-thirds plus one of the eligible cardinals, for election of the new pope. The required number has varied over the years but This rule was established at the 3rd Lateral Council during the time when Alexander III (1159-81) was pope following an earlier decision by Nicholas II. He had ruled in the previous century that only Roman cardinals could vote. Today, if the conclave is deadlocked after several days, a lesser majority of 50% plus one is allowed (The extra one is in case any cardinal voted for himself). Until not so long ago, the conclave (cum-clave = with key,. ie. a locked room) kept everybody confined until a decision was reached, but since 1996 cardinals stay in St Martha's Residence in like" rooms simply decorated with crucifixes and papal pictures. The cardinals are shuttled there for lunch and then back to the Sistine Chapel where their deliberations take place beneath the Michelangelo frescoes, and from where communication with the outside world is forbidden. "Two trustworthy technicians'' check for any hidden eavesdropping devices. More sophisticated listening devices mean the Vatican walls 'are no longer insurmountable" says Bishop Jorge Mejia, secretary of the College of Cardinals THE VATICAN YEAR BOOK Annuario Pontificio, lists all the popes, but other references sometimes arrange them in a slightly different order especially before the 3rd century. Much of our information about the early popes comes from Liber Potificalis (LP) and the Liberian Catalogue (LC) Both were started in the 4th century, with the former (which eventually incorporated LC) updated until 1464. There is an 1886 French translation of LP with commentary by Abbe Louis Duchesne, and a 1916 English translation by Louise Ropes Loomis, published by Columbia University Press, The earliest historians--Clement of Rome c. 95; }Ignatius of Antioch c.l00; Tertullian (c. 160-225); Eusebius c. 260; and Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, who (c. 190) wrote five books comparing the doctrines of rival sects--are credited in the text that follows as (C), (Ig), (T), (Eu) or (Ir), respectively. Anti-popes were usually chosen because of factional differences over what might today seem to be obscure theological arguments, their significance especially magnified after the Roman empire split into two and the papacy became involved in political disputes between Rome and Constantinople. The battle between popes and emperors for ultimate supremacy, spiritual or temporal, continued for centuriee. We should remember that popes are fallible human beings, a few benevolent geniuses, others dolts; some indisputably saintly, others less so--probably to roughly the same extent as any other 263 powerful men during our 2,000 years of Christian history. Petri dignitas etiam in indigno herede non deficit declared Pope Leo I. 'The dignity of St Peter is not lacking even in an unworthy heir". 64. St. Gregory I ('The Great"). b. Rome; elected 3 Sept, 590; d. 12 March, 604, aged about 64. Great-grandson of Pope Felix III he came from an aristocratic family and was prefect (mayor) of Rome before resigning to become a monk in a monastery financed by the sale of his family home. He was the first monk to become pope and 'his early letters as pope graphically portray his unhappiness at being dragged from the contemplative life to shoulder his heavy burden" (ODP). He instituted the Gregorian Chant and his Book of Pastoral Rule

L'autore: John Wilcock, a longtime columnist and author, has written more than 30 books, most of them travel guides to such countries as Japan, Greece, India and Venezuela, as well as Los Angeles, Mexico City, Rome and Florence. His column has run in the Village Voice (of which he was a co-founder), the Toronto Daily Star and Tokyo's Mainichi Daily News. It currently appears in the Montecito Journal. He is the author of The Autohiograpphy and Sex Lifè of Andy Warhol, Magical & Mystical Sites and An Occult Guide to South America.

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