Talk:2005 papal conclave/archive 2

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Well done, wikipedia

I have to say a big congratulations to wikipedia for its work on this article. We can be justly proud of it. I don't think there is a better article on the forthcoming conclave anywhere on the net. Congratulations, people. FearÉIREANN 21:06, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Agreed- in my mind, the most amazing part of this great article is the speed with which it was assembled. When you consider that JP II only died a littl over 48 hours ago alongside the detail of the article, it makes the accomplishment all the more praiseworthy. Hence, a hearty mazel tov to everyone involved in the page's creation! --PatadyBag 22:20, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Sorry, but I disagree. I do believe that the article has improved in the last day or so, but there's many problems with it, mostly because it's about something that hasn't really happened yet. First, there's some pieces of information that are off topic. Explaining how the Conclave works, albeit briefly, would not be a theme for this article, but rather for the Papal election article (unless there was a focus on the changes introduced by John Paul II in 1996, in the Universi Dominici Gregis, which would make this Conclave somewhat different from the previous one, in 1978 – but that's only mentioned briefly in the first paragraph of said explanation). Also, there's too much stuff on previous Conclaves, which would be more suited for the aforementioned general article on the Conclave or even for each Pope's individual article, but not for this one, which should focus on the events to take place in this particular Conclave (I'm not saying that everything should go, since some of it may bear some relevance for this Conclave, but telling anecdotes of previous elections just to make a point about how old the next pontiff is likely to be seems exaggerated to me). The main problem, however, is that most of the article is based on speculations about the Conclave to come. That's a direct result of writing about a future event about which there's relatively little to be said yet that is encyclopedic. Probably, this will result in the article having to be almost completely rewritten after the Conclave, which is, I believe, another indication of how premature it is now. I do not see that we should have an article based on speculation, very little of which can actually be trustworthily verified. Regards, Redux 03:06, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think there are some extremely unlikely names on the papabile list. Lustiger is 77 and a Zionist - his election would offend the Arab-Muslim world and would be quite contrary to Church policy which is generally pro-Arab. Husar is not even a Catholic strictly speaking and his election would hugely offend both Putin and the Orthodox, as Cardinals would know. Any case there is not going to be a second Slav pope in a row, which rules out Husar and Vlk. Nor is there likely ever to be a pope from an English speaking country, which makes Murphy-O'Connor most unlikely. Adam 04:35, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree on the merits. That said, I don't see as we can use our own judgement on this. In the list, we should just report the names that are mentioned, not judge for ourselves how plausible they are. john k 05:27, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Either we exercise some judgement or we list all 117 - or perhaps every priest in the world? As far as I can tell the field is narrowing to Tettamanzi and one or other of the South Americans, with Arinze as a dark horse (ho ho). Adam 05:48, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

We should list people who have been listed as potential popes by major media organizations or vaticanologists. This is not terribly hard to do. john k 15:26, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There are some links articles about this at the bottom of the page. I Agree with John Kenney. We should just report what has already been speculated in the news papers. Husar is a catholic very strictly speaking and has been discussed in the articles. So has Lustiger even if he is a zionist, in fact there are many sites on the internet now also about the possibility of the first "Jewish" pope in 2 millenia. This is news.193.63.146.184 15:48, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)


A question about the sentance, "In theory any practicing Roman Catholic male, and certainly any member of its clergy, is eligible for election." If we want to get technical, I do not believe that even this requirement is required by Canon Law. Obviously, the election of a Protestant, Athiest, or Moony would be absurd, it is not legally impossible.

It might not be written as a single sentence in the Canon Law, but in Universi Dominici Gregis, it is written that someone becomes Pope on being elected and accept the position plus having episcopal character. So that's either a Bishop, or a non-Bishop that then get ordained. Since only a Roman Catholic male can be a Bishop, in turns only a Roman Catholic male can be Pope. -- KTC 21:54, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Article move

The Holy Father has died. This paged should be moved to Papal election, 2005 as it is now absolutely certain there will be one in a matter of weeks. (Alphaboi867 20:09, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC))

Oh, now we're discussing whether the page should be moved, when there's no more controversy on it. I see. :-) JRM 20:12, 2005 Apr 2 (UTC)
Isn't the convention to call it 2005 Papal election ? --Alterego 20:27, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)
No. Political elections use the "X election, year" name scheme. No reason for papal elections to be different, I think. Kairos 21:21, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. (Alphaboi867 21:27, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC))

The format is 'location election, date' for an elementary reason, so that all elections in a specific location have the same name except for a different date at the end. So we have

Doing that makes lists easier. Putting date first would look well if the only thing you were going by is date. In reality we define elections by the format 'where what, when'.

I've made quite a few changes to the article.

I think the prediction that Ratzinger will win is way off the mark. Strong ideologues rarely win papal elections. In addition the College of Cardinals rarely elects someone very close to the previous pope, even when most of the College is chosen by the previous pope. Pope John Paul's high profile travelling and less than thorough attention to detail in the Vatican actually annoyed some local hierarchies, who felt he was overshadowing them and not doing the real job back at home in the Vatican. I expect you'll see a low key, seventy-something administrator elected for a couple of years, to give the Church a chance to calm down after the excitement of JPII. In the next conclave after this one, they'll probably go looking for a new JPII. After the populist ideologue Pius IX they chose the liberal administrator Leo XIII, then the populist ideologue Pius X, then the low key administrator Benedict XV, then the (somewhat) populist (and notoriously tempermental) Pius XI, then the intellectual administrator Pius XII, then the popular charismatic John XXIII, then the curialist administrator Paul VI, then the popular 'holy man' John Paul I, then the populist ideologue (but weak on administration) John Paul II. Logic suggests they will again be cautious and look for a 'safe pair of hands' again. Many churchmen privately were highly critical of what they believed was his tendency to delegate administration to rather self-important bureaucrats (Dominus Jesus was a classic example. Ratzinger wrote it. Apparently JPII never even read it before it was issued, as one cardinal, who went to JPII to complain about it, found out to his horror. JP was a towering intellectual, but he worked on his own ideas, rather than overseeing the actions of his underlings. That annoyed people, who for example felt that if he had been more of a bureaucrat he would have picked up the sex abuse scandals earlier, rather than leaving it to other people who proved less able and made a complete hash of it.

Ratzinger would be a good administrator, but probably too good and too bosy for most, which is why he has IMHO a snowball's chance in hell of being elected. He has also made too many local enemies in his forceful job in the Holy Office. Many would be glad to see the back of him from there. Sending him up to the papal apartments for life would make him more, not less, forceful.

I've added in facts and figures to the article as well.

From scanning media coverage I've reached diametrically different opinions to those in the original article here about the likelihood of a South American pope. Far from it being a 'slim' prospect it seems a very real one. An African one does however seem unlikely. If the Italians unite this time their candidate should be a 'European' candidate as they have the numbers for that. So it would seem as though the split could well be Europe versus South America. On the 'better the devil you know' principle, many American cardinals and conservative Africans would probably favour the European candidate over the South American one(s), on the basis that the Europeans would probably keep things steady (and they will probably want a short 'steady as you go' pontificate, whereas a South American one might be an unknown quantity, perhaps too radical, for conservatives. Also many Africans might want to ensure that when there is a non-European pope it is one of them - that they are the ones to break the mould rather than let South America get the credit in the history books for being the mould breakers. I'd guess the new pope will probably be a European, more than likely an Italian, and quite probably a curialist to get the administration back in order and not overshadowing the local hierarchies by a lot of travelling. That is my gut feeling and it is what I have heard from senior clerics. FearÉIREANN 06:52, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Your right about the location election, year formant, but Vatican City election, 2000 sounds bizare and would confuse people. The Pope is much more than Sovereign of Vatican City. The current format is the most logical way to adapt Wiki's election formant conventions. (Alphaboi867 07:53, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC))

Maybe I'm too tired (I've been writing all night) but I think we are at cross purposes. I am not suggesting we move it at all. I'd regard Papal as adequate in the circumstances. Vatican City I'd totally oppose. But in terms of strict accuracy, now that I think of it, while Papal and 2005 are OK, maybe election isn't the right word. They are called Conclaves and people when talking about past one talk about the 1958 conclave rather than the 1958 election. Maybe the more correct name for this would be Papal conclave, 2005. That would be far more accurate than Papal election, 2005. After all what will happen is not akin to an election in how we understand them: no campaigns, no announced candidates, no revelation of counts, no manifestos, etc. It is not so much a secret ballot as a secret election. Conclave is much more accurate as a name. We could then create a back series of articles on past papal conclaves. Papal election, 2005 was OK as a title in the absence of an actual conclave, but we now have one so we should use it in the title. FearÉIREANN 08:08, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Support, for above reasons.--BaronLarf 20:43, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)
Support QuartierLatin1968 03:01, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Agree --cesarb 13:26, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Done. Election is clearly not the right word (it is a unique non-public ballot). I have moved and fixed any double redirects. --Oldak Quill 14:52, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have no problem with the move, but "election" is clearly an accurate term. A pope is elected, just like a Holy Roman Emperor or a King of Poland was elected. john k 15:06, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Regardless, conclave is the correct and official term. I am quite ambiguous - I just feel conclave is of more use, it is the primus inter pares. --Oldak Quill 15:14, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I note that the term "papal conclave" is redundant. A conclave, by definition, relates to the pope. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with the term "papal election". -- Emsworth 19:00, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Conclave refers to the meeting itself, the locking of the cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel - this is not redundant. A Conclave is brought together with the purpose of balloting for a new pope. This article not only deals with the ballot but the entire process: the conclave. --Oldak Quill 19:12, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This does not change my point that "papal conclave" is redundant. There is no need, in this case, for the word "papal." -- Emsworth 01:07, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The general article is, sensibly, Papal election. Papal election, 2005 was too simple? --Wetman 19
30, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I concur that "election" is probably better than "conclave" in the article title.Papal elections have been in the form of a conclave since the 13th century,but this is an instance of an event with a longer history than that.(The "Papal election" article was formerly at "conclave" but was moved for this reason).--Louis E./12.144.5.2 19:34, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Election in this context is completely wrong. The process is called a conclave. I've been watching television coverage on BBC, BBC News 24, Sky News, Channel 4 News, Sky News, ITV News, RTÉ News all day and all last night (literally all) and made a point of recording what references there were to the new selection process. The result was
Conclave/Papal Conclave - 41 references.
Papal election/election - 4 references.
That did not include repeat references in repeated bulletins on the hour, but different reports. The 4 election references came from journalists: 2 from the same ITV journalist who said the pope had been elected in 1987, 1 from a Sky News reporter who called St John Lateran a "church in the Vatican". 1 came from a journalist who repeated the myth about the pope being tapped on the forehead with a silver hammer. (That ceremony was abolished many many decades ago.) All the experts on all the channels used conclave without exception. Election in this context when it the process is called conclave, would be factually wrong. If some organisation, state or country calls their electoral process by a special name we should use it. What is happening is quite simply a papal conclave and it should be referred to as such. FearÉIREANN 19:57, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Louis E. - conclaves may not have always existed, but the method was not always election either: acclaimation and committee have both been used. --Oldak Quill 20:00, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Actually, both acclamation and committee are forms of election. Election is simply a process of choosing. The balloting process, the third and most used form of election, is formally called scrutinizing. 66.254.233.0 04:35, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Very good point, Quill. I'd forgotten that. Until the late pope changed the rules, there were three methods of selection in a conclave. Election was just one. If as I hope will happen a series of articles is written about past conclaves, we clearly could not use election as some conclaves, albeit hundreds of years ago, were not elections but selection by committee or acclamation. Conclave is the only word that can apply to all three methods of selection used over a millennium. FearÉIREANN 20:08, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

We need to balance correctness with timelessness. If a user creates an article for a Papal selection in the 7th century we want it to follow a similar naming to that in 2005, for this neither election, nor conclave may suffice. A more ambiguous term such as "Papal selection, 2005" would achieve this, but this is too ambiguous to be correct. Does anyone have further suggestions? --Oldak Quill 20:17, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Contrary to Jtdirl's point,it is "election" that is the parent umbrella under which "conclave" is a special (post-1271) case.That conclaves have done their work in different fashions though now constrained to only use ballots does not take away their status as the post-1271 format of the selection process that became restricted to cardinals in 1059 but has existed since the 1st century,and for all we know may not always remain in the current format.--Louis E./12.144.5.2 20:23, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A conclave is a term describing the meeting of the cardinals, including the ballot and wrangling. The election is just one part of it. Further, not all choices have been performed by a conclave - there have been public acclaimations by the Roman people, as well as committee choices which aren't conclaves in that they do not include all cardinals. --Oldak Quill 20:28, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Because conclaves have been used for so long I think it is the obvious term to use for the 100+ conclaves since the process of using conclaves began. Earlier systems changed over the years so they could be pulled together under a list of [[Selection of popes]]. A category could then be pulled together to join the pre-conclave selection processes and the conclaves. I may be wrong but I don't know if there is much surviving information about pre-conclave selections. There are limited enough sources for conclaves so most articles would simply be stubs. (It reminded me of the story of a cardinal at one conclave who wrote all the count results on the inside of his surplice in pen. When he got home a nun in his household washed the surplice not realising what it had written on the inside. All the records he had carefully gathered where washed out!!!) FearÉIREANN 20:42, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There has always been a papal election and the modern form of doing so is in a conclave.Just keep things straight,no need to call all elections conclaves.--L.E./12.144.5.2 20:45, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Was Martin V chosen by a proper conclave, or by the ecumenical council, or in some other way? The article Pope Martin V says it was a conclave, but also says that there were 30 non-cardinals involved in the election. So that's a weird case, at least. john k 02:43, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

An intersting twist: I was watching commentry on Papal pomp and circumstance today on BBC NEWS 24 and the "Roman Catholic expert" stated that "it is believed that Cardinals are guided by the Holy Spirit in the conclave". It is Roman Catholic belief that they are not exercising free will but are willing God to guide them - this is sounding less and less an "election" the more I learn. --Oldak Quill 18:56, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This may be the belief of the Roman Catholic Church, but from an objective standpoint, one cannot but conclude that the process is actually an election, given that the cardinals actually do vote. -- Emsworth 01:09, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If this stays at the 'conclave' form, and Papal election doesn't become conclave or papal conclave (which I think leaving them with that mismatch is a bad idea), the intro (especially) needs to clearly explain why, including both words. As it was I didn't know Papal election would tell me what a 'conclave' is until I cut&pasted conclave into the Search box. Niteowlneils 03:56, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"Papal election" should not move. It covers methods of election prior to conclaves. Moreover, I am surprised that "conclave" should be difficult to find, as it is bolded in the first paragraph. -- Emsworth 19:48, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Papabili bloat

The list of "papabili" in the article keeps growing,seemingly as soon as anyone hears someone mentioned as a possible pontiff.Beyond the duplicate listings,is some pruning in order?How much "support" should be needed to get on that list?

Once this election is over,a pruned list (the members younger than whoever gets elected would be the first cut,as it has been centuries since a Pope was not younger than his predecessor) belongs back at the papabile article.--L.E./12.144.5.2 19:57, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

We're also being inconsistent. This page lists Cardinal Sodano as papabile, but our article on him specifically says he's not generally seed an one of the papabili. Then, the page says that the US and France are not likely sources of the new pope, but the Archbishop of Paris is at the top of the list, and the Archbishop of Chicago is on it as well. I think we should only have a small list, maybe the top 10, let the other 20 currently there be outside choices. If this keeps going, we'll have 180 cardinals on the list of papabili, and perhaps a few non-cardinal archbishops as well. Gentgeen 20:24, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've removed the US & French's cardinals as it is (including news source) agreed that they're less likely to be selected, as per the article. I left Cardinal Sodano on as I don't know whether to remove him here or to change his article to say he is a Papabili.
Also, I do have to say some of the "Papabili" listed here seem to have rather remote a chance of actually getting selected. Never, ever, personally seen any of their names mentioned anywhere as a papabili. -- KTC 22:57, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Singular, papabile, plural, papabili. Cheers! alessio 08:53, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Cardinal Sodano and Cardinal Lustiger have been mentioned in various mainstream media discussions of possible papal candidates. I've never seen the Abp of Chicago listed, though. john k 23:43, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd add that there are many people who are often listed as papabili, but are also noted to be thought not especially likely candidates. I think Lustiger, at least, should go back on, even if he is not likely to actually be elected. Our list should be about who has been named as a potential candidate, not about who we at wikipedia think is likely to actually be elected pope. john k 02:36, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree about Lustiger, he is on enough lists even if only as a wildcard. There is no "definitive" list of papabile and just because some argue that a Frenchman is ruled out doesn't mean one is. On the other hand, I've never seen any American names mentioned so I don't see the point of adding one. AndyL 02:47, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Of course Pius X, Pius XII, John XIII, John Paul I and John Paul II were not considered papabile. Maybe here would should list all 120 cardinals. (And yes, there are 120; 117 named, 3 secret. The second ones can attend and vote, maybe even get elected). FearÉIREANN 19:04, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A cardinal who is named in pectore and is not eventually revealed by the pope before he dies is not a cardinal elector. So unless JP2 named his in pectore cardinals shortly before he died, and the Vatican hasn't said he did, and they're under 80, then the number of electors stays at 117. Gentgeen 19:49, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've doublechecked and you are right. The only question is whether the pope did reveal their identity before dying. If he did, then they become full voting cardinals. As of now no announcement has been made suggesting that the pope named them, but it is possible that if he did the identities won't be revealed until after his funeral. Understandably the Vatican is otherwise engaged right now. FearÉIREANN 20:26, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There was only one outstanding Cardinal in pectore at the death of John Paul II,announced as having been created at the 2003 consistory but never revealed.He had made three other in pectore creations during his pontificate,all eventually revealed (Kung in 1979,revealed 1991;Jaworski and Pujats both in 1998 and revealed in 2001).--Louis E./le@put.com/12.144.5.2 20:33, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction, Louis. Good point. FearÉIREANN 21:28, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Can someone please tell me the reason that Cardinals Turkson,Sepe (both way too young I expect),and Poletto are on the papabili list,e.g. whose mention of them got them listed here?I've never seen them listed anywhere,and speculation on an African,on an Italian pastor,and on an Italian curialist all tend to focus on others in preference to these.--Louis E./le@put.com/12.144.5.2 15:46, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)