The Results of the Vote

When the Scrutineers have tabulated the results, and the Revisers have verified them, they are announced. A super majority of two-thirds of those actually voting is required to elect, unless the special provisions for a difficult election have been invoked.

No Election

If less than two-thirds of the votes have been cast for the same person, or less

than the majority required by the special provisions for a deadlocked conclave, an election has not occurred. If it was the first ballot of the session the Electors proceed to vote again. After the second ballot the ballots of both sessions are burned, whether an election occurs or not.


If two-thirds of the votes have been cast for the same person, or the majority required by the special provisions for a deadlocked conclave, an election has occurred. The Scrutineers, with the assistance of the Secretary of the Conclave and the Masters of Ceremony, who are re-admitted to the Conclave at this point, proceed to burn the ballots.


After the junior Cardinal Deacon has re-admitted the Secretary of the College and the Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies, the Cardinal Dean, or, the Cardinal who is first in order and seniority, goes to the one elected and asks,

Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?

By giving consent, the one elected, provided he holds the episcopal order,  immediately becomes the Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff. If the one elected is not present, he would have to be summoned. If not a bishop he would have to be ordained one before proceeding.

The Cardinal Dean then asks,

By what name do you wish to be called?

The Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies, with the witness of the two Masters of Ceremonies (who are now summoned), draw up a document certifying the consent of the one elected and the name he has chosen.

Following certain formalities prescribed in the ritual for the Conclave, each Cardinal comes forward in turn and makes an act of homage and obedience to the new Pope. An act of thanksgiving is then made by all present.

Announcement by the Proto-Deacon

Following the vesting of the Pope the senior Cardinal Deacon announces the new Pope from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica to those gathered in the Square and listening or watching throughout the world. He says (using the example of Pope Benedict's announcement):

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus papam.

Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Iosephum, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger

qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI.

[I announce to you a great joy. We have a Pope. The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lord, Lord Joseph, Cardinal of Holy Roman Church, Ratzinger, who has taken the name Benedict XVI.]

For the election of the successor of Pope John Paul II the Proto-Deacon was Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estévez.

The newly elected Pope then comes out to address and bless the City and the World (Urbi et Orbi).


Back: Special Provisions

Interregnum Home



Terms of Use      Privacy Policy