International Law

Pope Reverts to Traditional Election Rule: Two Thirds to Put Next Pope in Office

Bowing to traditional canon law, Pope Benedict XV has reinstated the traditional rule for papal elections.

From now on a two-thirds majority must vote to elect a new pope, the next time the College of Cardinals is called upon to do so, reports AP. Benedict himself was elected under a majority-rules standard.

It isn’t all that unusual for a pope to change the election rules; popes often have done so–only to have their successors do so again, says Rev. Jesus Minambres, a canon law professor at Santa Croce University in Rome. “You could write an encyclopedia in the way cardinals elected popes over the centuries,” he told AP.

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