The Conclave: A Sometimes Secret and Occasionally Bloody by Michael Walsh

By Michael Walsh

In 1271, with the papal throne vacant for over years, neighborhood officers locked the cardinals of the Catholic Church in a room, forcing them to choose a brand new pope. From this inauspicious starting arose the perform of the conclave, the hugely secretive mix of rituals and politics designed to choose a brand new chief for the world's Catholic inhabitants. With Pope John Paul II unwell, the time for a brand new conclave attracts closer, and Rome is getting ready for over 6,000 newshounds and innumerable onlookers to descend at the everlasting urban to witness the election of the following chief of the Catholic Church. In The Conclave, admired Catholic historian Michael Walsh takes readers during the heritage of conclaves previous, highlighting the vendettas, feuds, and political intrigues that experience coloured the choice of a brand new pontiff. An enjoyable heritage of the key deliberations, colourful tales, or even bloody occasions that encompass the making and unmaking of popes, The Conclave is a brilliant tale, a very good background, and a huge paintings for a person drawn to the papacy.

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Extra info for The Conclave: A Sometimes Secret and Occasionally Bloody History of Papal Elections

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When he fell out with the man whose papacy he had almost certainly helped to engineer, Justinian sent him into exile. Then, when he had been recalled from exile and reconciled with the emperor, he had to make the long journey back to Rome. He was not, however, popular with the Roman people – hence no election, as far as is known. Perhaps as a result, he also found it difficult to find a bishop who would consecrate him Bishop of Rome. The one who had the right and responsibility to preside over the episcopal consecration of a pope, the Bishop of Ostia, simply refused to do it.

Had he not, he would have found it almost impossible to govern. Even before he died, the Duke of Nepi, near Viterbo, was planning to seize control of the papacy. He (Theodore, but often called Toto) and his brothers Constantine, Passivus, and Pascal entered Rome with armed retainers. As soon as Paul was dead – he died on 29 June 767 – the brothers took over the Lateran and proclaimed the eldest, Constantine, as pope. He was still a layman and was promptly raised through all the ranks of the clergy and consecrated bishop.

Meanwhile those sympathetic to Felix had formally elected the late pope’s candidate, so Boniface remained in control despite the unconventional method of his election. He, however, wanted a say in the choice of his successor and in 531 called a meeting in St. Peter’s where he attempted to impose the deacon Vigilius as bishop and force all the clergy to agree to it. Afterward he admitted that he had gone too far and ceremoniously burnt the decree appointing Vigilius. But he was right in one regard.

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