Conclave Meaning

What is Conclave:

A conclave is a high-level meeting in which several people come together to discuss an issue. In Christianity, the meeting and the place where the cardinals meet in which they meet to elect a new Pope is called a conclave. Some words with a similar meaning can be: congress, convention, assembly, meeting and board. This word comes from Latin conclave Y cum clavis, which means "what is locked" or "under lock" referring to the meeting of cardinals who met under lock and key for the election of a new pope.

Papal conclave

In Christianity, the figure of the Pope is the highest authority and has a mission of Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church. It is considered that the first to was the apostle Saint Peter. At present, the operation of the process for the election of a new pope is determined by the Apostolic Constitution. Universi Dominici Gregis, 1996. Over the centuries, the way in which the conclave was celebrated has varied, although some rules are still preserved from the 11th century. In principle, the Conclave is held 15 days after the vacancy of the Apostolic See, although this date may vary. The Conclave is not just about a meeting where you vote, as cardinals can be held for days or even months until the papal election. Although all the cardinals meet, only those who before the day of the Vacant See have reached 80 years of age, have the right to vote, unless they have been deposed or have resigned. In the past, until 1904 the kings of some Catholic countries held the right of veto in the election, for example in 1903, the Emperor of Austria vetoed Cardinal Rampolla, Pope Pius X being elected in his place.

In order to carry out the Conclave, a series of stays are arranged in Vatican City reserved for the cardinals, currently the so-called Santa Marta Residence. The meeting proper where the new Pope is voted and decided is the Sistine Chapel, although in the past it was held in other places such as Venice or the Quirinal Palace in Rome. After each election the ballots are burned. Tradition indicates that the Cardinals provoke with dry or wet straw that the smoke is black, if the Pope has not been elected, or white if the new Roman Pontiff has been elected. It is known as black smoke or white smoke, which the Roman people usually see from San Pedro Square.

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