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Catholic Dictionary




1. One of the ways of electing a pope in which the cardinals unanimously, without consultation or balloting, proclaim one of the candidates Supreme Pontiff. 2. Liturgical acclamations at the coronation of a pope or the election of a bishop.

Acclamations were sent as compliments to the emperors from the early Church councils and were found in the coronation rites of secular princes and kings. Sepulchral monuments carried them as inscriptions. Brief liturgical formulas such as "Deo gratias" (thanks to God) may be classified as acclamations. (Etym. Latin ac-, to + clamare, to cry out: acclamare: proclaim, declare, invoke.)