(CNN Spanish) — In The Vatican, full legislative, judicial and executive authority rests with the Pope. For centuries, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church were elected in private meetings called conferences.
Technically, any Roman Catholic can be elected Pope. But since 1379, every pope has been elected from the College of Cardinals, a voting body in conclave.
Many cardinals are bishops and archbishops appointed by the Pope to assist in religious matters. Some work in the Vatican, but most are scattered around the world and run a diocese or archdiocese.
When it’s time to vote for a new pope, all cardinals under the age of 80 travel to Rome to participate.
Inside the Sistine Chapel, each cardinal is given paper ballots, writing the name of his chosen candidate below the words “Eligo in summun pontificam” (Latin for “I choose to be high pontiff”). Cardinals cannot vote for themselves.
When they are done, each cardinal, in order of seniority, goes to an altar and places their folded ballot in a casket. The votes are then counted and the results are read to the cardinals.
If a cardinal receives two-thirds of the vote, he becomes the new pope.
Revelation of the new Pope
We can’t go inside the Sistine Chapel, but we know if there’s a new pope just by looking at the smoke billowing from the Vatican roof.
After polling, ballot papers are burned once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If a pope is not elected, the ballots are burned with a chemical that turns the smoke black.
However, if the smoke is white, the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics have a new church leader.
Traditionally, between 30 and 60 minutes after the white smoke spreads, the new Pope appears on a balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica. Peter’s Square. Cardinal Jean-Louis Taron, if he himself had not been elected pope, would announce the words “Habemus Papam” (Latin for “we have a pope”) and introduce the new pope by the name of his chosen pope.
The new pope will then speak briefly and pray. Your formal meeting will take place a few days after your election. The last two Popes were inaugurated in St. Peter’s Cathedral.
How many Popes were there in the Catholic Church?
According to the first Pope Saint Peter He ICA Press, received from Jesus the Supreme Pontiff, established the first ecclesiastical order and the Our Father’s Prayer. As of the end of 2022, the Vatican had 266 popes Pope Francisco The last person elected to fill the position.
Below are the names of the first and last popes in history:
- San Pedro (Simon Bar Jonah)
- San Lino, Tuscany (67-76)
- Saint Anacletus (Cleitus), Rome (76-88)
- San Clemente I (88-97)
- Saint Evaristo, Greece (97-105)
- Saint Alexander I, Rome (105-115)
- San Sixto I, Rome (115-125)
- St. Telesporus, Greece (125-136)
- San Igenio, Greece (136-140)
- Saint Pius I, Aquileia (140-155)
- Saint Pius X (1903-1914)
- Benedict XV (1914-1922)
- Pius XI (1922-1939)
- Pius XII (1939-1958)
- John XXIII (1959-1963)
- Paul VI (1963-1978)
- John Paul I (1978)
- John Paul II (Poland) (1978-2005)
- Benedict XVI (Germany) (2005-2013)
- Francisco (Argentina) (2013-present)
See the full list ICA Press.