CanonLaw.info

Dr. Edward Peters 

To work for the proper implementation of canon law is to play an extraordinarily

constructive role in continuing the redemptive mission of Christ. Pope John Paul II

Blog

Directory

Facebook

Webmaster

Abbreviations

Masterpage

1983 Code

 

Masterpage

1917 Code

 Masterpage

 Liber Extra

 

 Masterpage

 Eastern Code

Resolution

1152 x 864

Updated

7 feb 2014

Resources on current eligible papal electors


Overview

 

The election of the Roman Pontiff has been reserved to the College of Cardinals since the late 13th century. Under current ecclesiastical law all cardinals under the age of 80 are eligible to vote, except that cardinals whose names remained reserved by the pope "in pectore" (currently none) are ineligible. Voting is secret and politicking is prohibited. There are presently 106 cardinals (a papally self-imposed limit of 120 electors is occasionally exceeded), some of whom are retired (emeritus) from their last posts, eligible to vote in the next papal conclave.

 


The Law

1983 CIC 349. S. R. E. Cardinales peculiare Collegium constituunt, cui competit ut electioni Romani Pontificis provideat ad normam iuris peculiaris; Cardinales item Romano Pontifici adsunt sive collegialiter agendo, cum ad quaestiones maioris momenti tractandas in unum convocantur, sive ut singuli, scilicet variis officiis, quibus funguntur, eidem Romano Pontifici operam praestando in cura praesertim cotidiana universae Ecclesiae. • Eng. trans. 1983 CIC 349. The cardinals of the Holy Roman Church constitute a special college which provides for the election of the Roman Pontiff according to the norm of special law. The cardinals assist the Roman Pontiff either collegially when they are convoked to deal with questions of major importance, or individually when they help the Roman Pontiff through the various offices they perform, especially in the daily care of the universal Church.

 

John Paul II, ap. con. Universi Dominici Gregis (22 feb 1996), AAS 88 (1996) 305-343, Eng. trans on-line here, establishing particular law referenced in the Code.

 

Benedict XVI, m. p. Constitutione apostolica (11 iun 2007), AAS 99 (2007) 776-777, on-line PDF here, abrogating UDG 75 so as to reestablish the requirement of a two-thirds majority of electors for valid election to papacy.

 

Benedict XVI, m. p. Normas nonnullas (22 feb 2012), L'Osservatore Romano =, Latin text here, derogating from several parts of Universi.

 


Current eligible

electors by age

 

See also

 

Salvatore Miranda's

Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

 

 

 

● not likely to participate in a conclave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

● not likely to participate in a conclave

Cardinal

Country

Posted to

Turns 80

Appt.

Year

Monterisi

Italy

Roman Curia

May 28, 2014

B16

2010

Hummes

Brazil

Roman Curia emer

Aug 08, 2014

JP2

2001

Amigo Vallejo

Spain

Seville emer

Aug 23, 2014

JP2

2003

Sardi

Italy

Roman Curia emer

Sep 01, 2014

B16

2010

Cordes

Germany

Roman Curia emer

Sep 05, 2014

B16

2007

Rodé

Slovenia

Roman Curia emer

Sep 23, 2014

B16

2006

Bertone

Italy

Roman Curia [emer]

Dec 02, 2014

JP2

2003

Darmaatmadja

Indonesia

Jakarta emer

Dec 20, 2014

JP2

1994

Lajolo

Italy

Roman Curia emer

Jan 03, 2015

B16

2007

Naguib

Egypt

Alexandria emer

Mar 18, 2015

B16

2010

Rigali

USA

Philadelphia emer

Apr 19, 2015

JP2

2003

De Paolis

Italy

Roman Curia emer

Sep 19, 2015

B16

2010

Abril y Castello

Spain

Roman Curia

Sep 21, 2015

B16

2011

da Cruz Policarpo

Portugal

Lisbon emer

Feb 26, 2016

JP2

2001

Mahony

USA

Los Angeles emer

Feb 27, 2016

JP2

1991

Terrazas Sandoval

Bolivia

Santa Cruz emer

Mar 07, 2016

JP2

2001

Dias

India

Bombay emer

Apr 14, 2016

JP2

2001

Lehmann

Germany

Mainz

May 16, 2016

JP2

2001

Levada

USA

Roman Curia emer

Jun 15, 2016

B16

2006

Okogie

Nigeria

Lagos emer

Jun 16, 2016

JP2

2003

Turcotte

Canada

Montreal emer

Jun 26, 2016

JP2

1994

Rouco Varela

Spain

Madrid

Aug 24, 2016

JP2

1998

Ortega y Alamino

Cuba

Havana

Oct 18, 2016

JP2

1994

López Rodriguez

Dom. Repub.

Santo Domingo

Oct 31, 2016

JP2

1991

Antonelli

Italy

Roman Curia emer

Nov 18, 2016

JP2

2003

Sarr

Senegal

Dakar

Nov 28, 2016

B16

2007

George

USA

Chicago

Jan 16, 2017

JP2

1998

Bačkis

Lithuania

Vilnius

Feb 01, 2017

JP2

2001

Assis

Brazil

Aparecida

Feb 15, 2017

B16

2010

Nicora

Italy

Roman Curia

Mar 16, 2017

JP2

2003

Martínez Sistach

Spain

Barcelona

Apr 29, 2017

B16

2007

Veglio

Italy

Roman Curia

Feb 03, 2018

B16

2011

Romeo

Italy

Palermo

Feb 20, 2018

B16

2010

Coccopalmerio

Italy

Roman Curia

Mar 06, 2018

B16

2011

O'Brien  ●

Scotland

Edinburgh 

Mar 17, 2018

JP2

1985

Monteiro de Castro

Portugal

Roman Curia

Mar 29, 2018

B16

2011

Cafarra

Italy

Bologna

Jun 01, 2018

B16

2006

Amato

Italy

Roman Curia

Jun 08, 2018

B16

2010

O'Brien

USA

Roman Curia

Apr 08, 2019

B16

2011

Dziwisz

Poland

Krakow

Apr 27, 2019

B16

2006

Hon

China

Hong Kong

Jul 31, 2019

B16

2011

Brady

Ireland

Armagh

Aug 16, 2019

B16

2007

Monsengwo Pasinya

Congo

Kinshasa

Oct 07, 2019

B16

2010

Grocholewski

Poland

Roman Curia

Oct 11, 2019

JP2

2001

Rai

Lebanon

Antioch

Feb 25, 2020

B16

2012

Vallini

Italy

Roman Curia

Apr 17, 2020

B16

2006

Toppo

India

Ranchi

Oct 15, 2020

JP2

2003

Wuerl

USA

Washington DC

Nov 12, 2020

B16

2010

Zubeir Wako

Sudan

Khartoum

Feb 27, 2021

JP2

2003

Napier

South Africa

Durban

Mar 08, 2021

JP2

2001

Pell

Australia

Sydney

Jun 08, 2021

JP2

2003

Scola

Italy

Milan

Nov 07, 2021

JP2

2003

Rivera Carrera

Mexico

DF

Jun 06, 2022

JP2

1998

Urosa Savino

Venezuela

Caracas

Aug 28, 2022

B16

2006

Salazar Gomez

Columbia

Bogota

Sep 22, 2022

B16

2012

Bertello

Italy

Roman Curia

Oct 01, 2022

B16

2011

Ravasi

Italy

Roman Curia

Oct 18, 2022

B16

2010

Vingt-Trois

France

Paris

Nov 07, 2022

B16

2007

Rodríguez-Marad.

Honduras

Tegucigalpa

Dec 29, 2022

JP2

2001

Calcagno

Italy

Roman Curia

Feb 03, 2023

B16

2011

Bagnasco

Italy

Genoa

Feb 14, 2023

B16

2007

Tauran

France

Roman Curia

Apr 05, 2023

JP2

2003

Duka

Czech Repub

Prague

Apr 26, 2023

B16

2011

Sepe

Italy

Naples

Jun 02, 2023

JP2

2001

Versaldi

Italy

Roman Curia

Jul 30, 2023

B16

2011

Comastri

Italy

Roman Curia

Sep 17, 2023

B16

2007

Sandri

Argentina

Roman Curia

Nov 18, 2023

B16

2007

Cipriani Thorne

Peru

Lima

Dec 28, 2023

JP2

2001

Njue

Kenya

Nairobi

 -, - 2024

B16

2007

Onaiyekau

Nigeria

Abuja

Jan 29, 2024

B16

2012

Ouellet

Canada

Roman Curia

Jun 08, 2024

JP2

2003

O'Malley 

USA

Boston

Jun 29, 2024

B16

2006

Pengo

Tanzania

Dar-Eo-Salam

Aug 05, 2024

JP2

1998

Piacenza

Italy

Roman Curia

Sep 15, 2024

B16

2010

Ricard

France

Bordeaux

Sep 26, 2024

B16

2006

Gracias

India

Agra

Dec 24, 2024

B16

2007

Schönborn

Austria

Vienna

Jan 22, 2025

JP2

1998

Alencherry

India

Syro-Malabra

Apr 19, 2025

B16

2011

Ryłko

Poland

Roman Curia

Jul 04, 2025

B16

2007

Sarah

Guinea

Roman Curia

Jun 15, 2025

B16

2010

Puljić

Bosnia

Vrhbosna

Sep 08, 2025

JP2

1994

Cańizares Llovera

Spain

Roman Curia

Oct 15, 2025

B16

2006

Filoni

Italy

Roman Curia

Apr 15, 2026

B16

2011

Collins

Canada

Toronto

Jan 16, 2027

B16

2011

Betori

Italy

Florence

Feb 25, 2027

B16

2011

Braz de Aviz

Brazil

Roman Curia

Apr 24, 2027

B16

2011

Ranjith

Sri Lanka

Colombo

Nov 15, 2027

B16

2010

Burke

USA

Roman Curia

Jun 30, 2028

B16

2010

Turkson

Ghana

Cape Coast

Oct 11, 2028

JP2

2003

Robles Ortega

Mexico

Monterrey

Mar 02, 2029

B16

2007

Bozanić

Croatia

Zagreb

Mar 20, 2029

JP2

2003

DiNardo

USA

Galveston-Houston

May 23, 2029

B16

2007

Scherer

Brazil

Sao Paulo

Sep 29, 2029

B16

2007

Harvey

USA

Roman Curia

Oct 20, 2029

B16

2012

Nycz

Poland

Warsaw

Feb 01, 2030

B16

2010

Dolan

USA

New York

Feb 06, 2030

B16

2011

Koch

Switzerland

Roman Curia

Mar 15, 2030

B16

2010

Barbarin

France

Lyon

Oct 17, 2030

JP2

2003

Erdö

Hungary

Eszt.-Budapest

Jun 25, 2032

JP2

2003

Eijk

Holland

Utrecht

Jun 23, 2033

B16

2011

Marx

Germany

Munich & Friesling

Sep 21, 2033

B16

2010

Woelki

Germany

Berlin

Aug 18, 2036

B16

2011

Tagle

Philippines

Manila

Jun 21, 2037

B16

2012

Thottunkal

India

Syro-Malankar

Jun 15, 2039

B16

2012

 


Studies

John Foster, "The election of the Roman Pontiff: an examination of Canon 332, § 1 and recent special legislation", The Jurist 56 (1997) 691-705.

 

Edward Peters, "The next papal conclave", This Rock (Oct 1996) 30-31, available here.

 

See also my blog posts on: Ineligible Papal Elector (2005) • Violating Secrecy (2005).

 

The debate

over age limits

for electors

 

Notes on the 1922

"Canonists' Conclave"

 

Cardinal Piffl (Vienna) kept private records during the papal conclave that elected Achille Ratti as Pius XI. These were discovered after Piffl's death in 1932, and published in The Tablet on 5 Oct. 1963, at 1060. They are also available in J. Noonan, Power to Dissolve (1972), at 407.

 

According to Piffl, 15 candidates received at least one vote in the course of 14 ballots held during the four-day conclave. Below, candidates names (canon lawyers in bold) are listed by greatest number of votes attained in one or more ballots:

 

Ratti 42

Gasparri 24

La Fontaine 23

Merry de Val 17

Maffi 10

Belmonte 8

Laurenti 5

Bisleti 4

Van Rossum 4

De Lai 2

Pompilj 2

Giorgi 1

Lega 1

Mercier 1

Sbaretti 1

 

These records suggest what I think might well be called "The Canonists' Conclave of 1922." PS: Retaining personal notes such as Piffl did is now forbidden by papal law (UDG 71).

 

What do Canon Lawyers think is funny?

 

At one point during the post-Conciliar process of reforming canon law, a "Plenaria" was held in Rome to discuss various difficult legal issues. One such controversy concerned a rule established by Pope Paul VI whereby cardinals, upon reaching age 80, lost the right to vote in papal conclaves. The discussion of this point is recorded in Congregatio Plenaria diebus 20-29 octobris 1981 habita (pp. 374-375). Cardinal Pericles Felici, a very influential Roman canonist, chaired the meeting.

 

What follows is my very free translation from the Latin of an exchange during that meeting:

Cdl. Felici

 

* * *

OFFICIAL: Question Four, octogenarian cardinals lose the right to elect the Roman Pontiff. There are eleven Fathers asking for discussion of this point [all names are listed, led by Cdl. Seper's].

 

FELICI: We move next to Question Four, which refers to draft canon 290, whereby octogenarian cardinals lose the right to vote for the Supreme Pontiff. Now, before this question is discussed and the one who first brought it up explains his reasons, it is my duty to tell you that I have already spoken about this matter with the pope while going over various topics to be looked at in this session, and I asked him whether he thought it was a good idea to include this question among the six to be reviewed. And the Supreme Pontiff told me he was not pleased. True, he did not revoke permission to discuss the topic, but he would prefer that it not be included among the topics, basically because this issue concerns the Supreme Pontiff, but for all that, he did not forbid debate if the Fathers still want to talk about it. That said, it's time for someone who has asked for this discussion to explain his reasons. ... Anyone? ... Come on, there are eleven signatures on this sheet! ... Card. Seper.

 

SEPER: I may say, there doesn't seem to be much point in discussing this now. [Seper briefly explained that he was not opposed to the rule itself, but that he wanted it treated outside of the new Code.]

 

FELICI: Okay, is there anyone else who wants to say something on this? ............ Nobody? .......... Well, let's vote.

 

OFFICIAL: How many are left to vote on Question Four?

 

FELICI: Not many. Most of them have left to attend an audience with the Pope. Fine.

 

* * *

Postscript: By special secret ballot, 41 of the 53 cardinals who stayed for the vote asked that the disqualification not be included in the 1983 Code, and in fact the rule does not appear in the new Code. But it is still contained in the special law governing papal elections, and thus is still in force. Anyway, I thought the little exchange above was funny. Maybe one had to be there.