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Can the Pope Elect His Successor?

Can the Pope Elect His Successor?

ELEMENTS OF ECCLESIASTICAL LAW
BY REV. S. B. SMITH. D.D.:

"329. Q. Can the Pope elect his successor?

A. The Pope is prohibited from electing his successor, not only by ecclesiastical but also by divine and natural law; and such election would be null and void.136 Hence, the Sovereign Pontiff could not, even with the consent of the cardinals, validly issue a constitution authorizing a Pope to elect or appoint his successor137 (infra, n. 457).
136 lb., V. Papa, art. i., n. 1, 2.)
137 lb., 1. c, n. 12.)


457. II. We have already spoken of the election of the Roman Pontiff, and shall here add only a few words on this point. The Pope cannot elect his successor.4 Some Popes, it is true, pointed out those whom they thought most worthy of the Pontificate; this, however, was commendatio, not electio.5 The Pope may establish the form to be observed in the election of the Supreme Pontiff, for no special form was determined by Christ; but he cannot, even with the consent of the cardinals, issue a constitution empowering a Pope to elect his successor.6
4 Ferraris, V. Papa, art. i., n. 1.
5 lb., n. 10.
6 Ferraris, V. Papa, art. i., n. 12.


ELEMENTS OF ECCLESIASTICAL LAW
COMPILED WITH REFERENCE TO
THE SYLLABUS, THE "CONST. APOSTOLICAE SEDIS" OF POPE PIUS IX.
THE COUNCIL OF THE VATICAN AND
THE LATEST DECISIONS OF THE ROMAN CONGREGATIONS.
BY REV. S. B. SMITH. D.D.,
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF CANON LAW, AUTHOR OF "NOTES," etc., etc.
FOURTH EDITION, REVISED ACCORDING TO THE ANIMADVERSIONS OF
THE ROMAN CONSULTORS APPOINTED BY
THE CARDINAL PREFECT OF THE PROPAGANDA.
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, ST. LOUIS, AND EINSIEDELN:
BENZIGER BROTHERS,
PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE.
1881
Nihil Obstat: Rev. S. G. MESSMER, S.T.P., Censor Deputatus.
Imprimatur: JOANNES CARD. McCLOSKEY, Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis.
Datum Neo-Eboraci, Die 25 Martii, 1877.
Copyrighted, 1877, by Benziger Brothers.
p. 138, 202, 203


THE VISIBLE CHURCH
BY Rt. Rev. JOHN F. SULLIVAN, D.D.

The papacy is an elective monarchy. If a Pope dies or resigns his office, his successor is chosen by vote of the cardinals.

A Pope does not nominate his successor. The election by the cardinals was decreed by Pope Nicholas II, in 1059; in earlier times the Popes were chosen by the clergy and people of Rome.
THE VISIBLE CHURCH
BY Rt. Rev. JOHN F. SULLIVAN, D.D.
A TEXT-BOOK FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
Fifth Edition, Revised
NEW YORK
P. J. KENEDY & SONS
PUBLISHERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE
NIHIL OBSTAT: ARTHURUS J. SCANLAN, S.T.D. Censor Librorum
IMPRIMATUR: PATRITIUS J. HAYES, D.D. Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis
Neo-Eboraci die 5, Aprilis 1921.
Copyright, 1920, 1922,
BY P. J. Kenedy & Sons, New York
Printed in U. S. A.
p. 2


THE PRIMACY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE VINDICATED
BY FRANCIS PATRICK KENRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF BALTIMORE

: MODE OF ELECTION

The plenitude of power with which the Pope is clothed, might appear to authorize him to provide a successor, when old age warns him of the approach of death, especially if he has reason to fear that intrigues, disorders, and violence may occur during the vacancy of the See. The language used by Irenaeus in regard to Peter, who is said to have committed to Linus the administration of the Church, may be understood of the appointment of a successor; but all antiquity teaches that the bishopric should not be as a legacy, dependent on the mere will of the actual incumbent. The elective principle, which was originally common to all episcopal sees, is still held sacred in regard to the Apostolic See, to which it is utterly forbidden to give the appearance of an inheritance. Hilary, in a Roman Council, declared that no Pope should choose his successor; which important declaration was repeated and confirmed by Pius IV after the lapse of eleven centuries. Pius added that no Pope could, even with the assent of the cardinals, choose a coadjutor, with the right of succeeding him. Boniface II., in 530, designated Vigilius for his successor, with the view of preventing the intrusion of an unworthy incumbent by the King of the Goths; but on maturer reflection, he committed his decree to the flames, lest his example should give an hereditary appearance to the sacred office. When Gregory XIV lay at the point of death, he exhorted the cardinals to proceed to the election of his successor; which, however, they respectfully declined. Several Popes, on their death-bed, recommended to the cardinals the person whom they deemed most worthy to succeed, as Clement VII, dying, said, that he would choose Cardinal Farnese, if the office could be bequeathed. His recommendation was adopted, but generally such expressions of desire were neglected. By a decree of Symmachus, in 499, renewed by Paul IV in 1558, it is forbidden, under pain of excommunication, during the lifetime of the Pope to treat of his successor. It is likewise forbidden, under the same penalty, to make wagers concerning the future Pontiff, when the See is actually vacant, lest any person should use improper measures to obtain a choice favorable to his interests.

THE PRIMACY OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE VINDICATED
BY FRANCIS PATRICK KENRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF BALTIMORE
SEVENTH REVISED EDITION
BALTIMORE:
PUBLISHED BY JOHN MURPHY & CO.
182 BALTIMORE STREET.
1875
pp. 244-247


The Roman Court
BY THE Reverend Peter A. Baart, S. T. L.:

65. As a matter of fact some Popes have pointed out those whom they deemed best fitted to succeed them, but church history has no record of any Supreme Pontiff choosing his own successor, if we except Pope Boniface II in the year 529. This Pope, in order to prevent a recurrence of the scandalous contentions which took place at the time of his election, when the Ostrogoth king set up an antipope, adopted the extraordinary measure of issuing a decree by which he appointed the deacon Virgilius his successor in the papacy. But the next year in a council held in Rome he recalled his decree and declared it annulled.

On the other hand it is of record that Pope Celestine III wished to resign the papacy in favor of Cardinal John de St. Paul, but because such an action was unknown in the Church, he determined not to do it. Pope Paul III was asked by Cardinal Francis Pisana Veneto to choose his own successor, but positively declined. And under Pope Paul IV the question whether the Pope can choose his own successor was discussed in consistory, and he, with the majority of the cardinals, thought the affirmative opinion should be rejected as false.

The Roman Court
OR A Treatise on the Cardinals, Roman Congregations
and Tribunals, Legates, Apostolic Vicars,
Protonotaries, and Other Prelates
of the Holy Roman Church
BY THE Reverend Peter A. Baart, S. T. L.,
Author of "Orphans and Orphan Asylums," and "Episcopal Claims Disproved"
FR. PUSTET,
Printer to the Holy See and the S. Congregation of Rites
FR. PUSTET & CO.,
NEW YORK AND CINCINNATI.
Nihil Obstat: Carolus O'Reilly, S. T. D., Censor Deputatus.
Imprimatur: Joannes S. Foley, Episcopus Detroitensis.
Die 25, m. Septembris, 1895.
Copyrighted, 1895, BY P. A. BAART.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED,
Press of The Statesman, Marshall, Mich.
p. 59-61


A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW
By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE:

CAN. 160:

Romani Pontificis electio unice regitur const. Pii X Vacante Sede Apostolica, 25 Dec. 1904; in aliis electionibus ecclesiasticis serventur praescripta canonum qui sequuntur, et peculiaria, si qua sint, pro singulis officiis legitime statuta.


I. ELECTION OF A POPE

The question whether the Pope can legally designate his own successor is controverted. The Pope, being a human being, might be too strongly inclined towards his family, and through nepotism the papacy might be in danger of becoming hereditary. Besides, the Pope is morally bound to respect the jus quasitum of the cardinals, which would be illusory if the Pope could set it aside at his pleasure.

The cardinals may, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, discuss probable candidates and their fitness for the office. This is called the tractatus praevius.

A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW
By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., D.D. Professor of Canon Law,
VOLUME II, Clergy and Hierarchy (Can. 160)
B. HERDER BOOK CO. 17 SOUTH BROADWAY, ST. Louis, Mo.
AND 68 GREAT RUSSELL ST. LONDON, W. C. 1918
CUM PERMISSU SUPERIORUM
NIHIL OBSTAT
Sti. Ludovici, die Sept. 7, 1918.
F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum.
IMPRIMATUR
Sti. Ludovici, die Sept. 8, 1918.
+Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici.
Copyright, 1918 by Joseph Gummersbach.
All rights reserved. Printed in U. S. A.
pp. 117-119

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