Catholic Dictionary




The choice of the Bishop of Rome, which has gone through various methods over the centuries. In 1975, Pope Paul Vi issued an apostolic constitution in which he made certain changes in papal election law. In line with previous legislation, he decreed that only cardinals--a maximum of 120 under the age of eighty--may be electors. There can be no personal attendants for the cardinals during the conclave, and provisions were made for security and means for handling difficult situations that might arise during the election.