Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Benedict XVI decides future popes will always be elected by a two-thirds majority

The next Pope will no longer be elected by a simple majority after 13 days of voting but will instead always be elected by a two-thirds majority of the cardinals present.

Benedict XVI in Motu proprio made the change today to the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis of 1996 in which John Paul II had established the principle that on the 13th day of the conclave (33rd or 34th ballot) cardinals could choose whether to continue with the traditional two-thirds rule, switch to a simple majority or opt for run-off ballot between the two most voted candidates.

Despite the change the issue remains hypothetical since most conclaves in the last century have lasted at most three or four days.

In changing the constitution Benedict XVI has decided that after the 13th day, there will be a run-off election with a two-third majority required.

The two cardinals in the run-off will not be able to vote.

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