EWTN Catholic Q&A
Pope election
Question from Don on 04-02-2005:

I am really confused and getting into a lot of arguements. I'm assuming only an ordained person can become Pope. I have been told that a married person could if very virtuous according to the rules of tradition. Explain in "people language" exactly only who can be elected as a Pope. Thank you

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 04-03-2005:

The Pope is a bishop, and neither the Latin Church or the Eastern Church has married bishops. Theoretically any Catholic male could be elected, but practically no layman would be, certainly no married layman.