The days after the
funeral and before the Conclave begins offers the cardinals an
opportunity to discuss the state of the Church. They may not do so
in a manner which constitutes politicking or electioneering for
office or for votes.
"The Cardinal electors shall ... abstain
from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of
any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a
person or persons" (UDG 81)
Nor may the Cardinals,
"enter into any stipulations, committing
themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one
of them be elevated to the Pontificate" (UDG 82).
promises would, in fact, be null and void (ibid).
however, be "during the period in which the See is vacant, the
exchange of views concerning the election" (UDG 81)
despite the solemn law of the Church, and the penalty of automatic
excommunication for selling or trading votes, the validity of the
election itself shall not be in doubt. Universi Dominici Gregis
79. If—God forbid—in the election of the Roman Pontiff the
crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare
that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae
sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity
of the same simoniacal provision, in order that—as was already
established by my Predecessors—the validity of the election of
the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.