Vatican Denies Knowledge of Proposal to Reform Papal Election Process

Vatican Spokesman Responds to Controversial Proposal

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has officially denied any knowledge of a document detailing proposed reforms to the papal election process.

This statement comes in response to recent reports suggesting that Pope Francis is considering a proposal to allow laypeople to participate in the conclave, including the vote for a new pope.

The Role of Cardinal Ghirlanda

The Pillar, citing a senior canon lawyer close to the Vatican, reported that knowledge of the process to reform conclaves is widespread in Vatican canonical circles, with Cardinal Ghirlanda playing a significant role in these discussions.

General Congregations in Focus

General congregations, held by the College of Cardinals, are preparatory meetings that occur daily before the start of a papal election.

These gatherings serve to familiarize cardinals with the regulations governing conclaves and provide a platform for expressing their views, seeking explanations, and making suggestions.

Proposed Changes to General Congregations

One of the proposed changes regarding general congregations is to transform them into “spiritual conversations” among smaller groups of cardinals, resembling the small-group discussions that took place during the Synod on Synodality assembly in October.

Regulations and Context

The process of papal election and the sede vacante period, which occurs between a pope’s death or resignation and the election of a successor, are regulated by St. John Paul II’s 1996 apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis and Pope Francis’ 2022 apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium.

These regulations are central to the governance of papal elections and transitions in the Vatican.

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