Special Provisions

In the case of difficulty electing, understood as three days of voting without an election, voting is to be suspending for up to, but not exceeding, one full day, to allow prayer and discussion. Voting is then resumed for seven ballots. Such suspensions followed by seven ballots may as necessary unti la pope is elected.

At the time of the election of Pope Benedict XVI the Electors had the faculty to vote to elect by an absolute majority, instead of two-thirds, or, to vote between the two top vote recipients of a previous ballot, with election by an absolute majority (UDG 75), if the election was deadlocked. This provision has been revoked by Pope Benedict XVI, however, in De Aliquibus Mutationibus. To elect, any vote must be by 2/3rds majority.

Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis

74. In the event that the Cardinal electors find it difficult to agree on the person to be elected, after balloting has been carried out for three days in the form described above (in Nos. 62ff) without result voting is to be suspended for a maximum of one day in order to allow a pause for prayer, informal discussion among the voters, and a brief spiritual exhortation given by the senior Cardinal in the Order of Deacons. Voting is then resumed in the usual manner, and after seven ballots, if the election has not taken place, there is another pause for prayer, discussion and an exhortation given by the senior Cardinal in the Order of Priests. Another series of seven ballots is then held and, if there has still been no election, this is followed by a further pause for prayer, discussion and an exhortation given by the senior Cardinal in the Order of Bishops. Voting is then resumed in the usual manner and, unless the election occurs, it is to continue for seven ballots.

[Revoked: 75. If the balloting does not result in an election even after the provisions of No. 74 have been fulfilled, the Cardinal electors shall be invited by the Camerlengo to express an opinion about the manner of proceeding. The election will then proceed in accordance with what the absolute majority of the electors decides.

Nevertheless, there can be no waiving of the requirement that a valid election takes place only by an absolute majority of the votes or else by voting only on the two names which in the ballot immediately preceding have received the greatest number of votes; also in this second case only an absolute majority is required.]

76. Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.


 

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