Slike strani

sends out the summonses for the Conclave. The Conclave does not begin till the obsequies of the late Pope are over-ten days after his decease— previously to which time, however, the cardinals meet in congregation and swear to observe the Pontifical institutions. On the tenth day after the decease of the Pope the cardinals hear High Mass at St Peter's, and then go in procession to enter into conclave, singing the Veni Creator. They pass on their way through two lines of Roman people, who give them advice, or jokes, or threats, or prayers, according to the humour of the day. On the first day the cardinals have liberty to return home to dine, if they will; but at one o'clock the bell of the Conclave is rung, by orders of the Dean, for all visitors to depart; at two o'clock the second signal is given, and at three the great door is shut, not to be opened again till the Conclave is over, except that a cardinal who has not entered the Conclave may do so at any time. There is a way from the Conclave to the Capella Paolina, and in that chapel, on the morrow of the tenth day, the whole body of the Conclavists, or attendants of the cardinals, are passed in review previous to the Conclave. The cardinals must each dine alone in his own cell till the Pope is elected. There are three methods of election-election by compromise, by adoration, and by ballot. In the election by compromise the cardinals, if unable to agree, nominate one or more members of their body to designate the new Pope. Election by adoration or acclamation takes place when a number of the cardinals, amounting to two-thirds at least, acclaim the Pope without preliminary ballot. The ballot, however, is the method now regularly adopted, and the method of taking it has been fixed by Gregory XV. and Urban VIII. Two-thirds of the votes of the cardinals present are, as we have said, necessary for election, and the vote is secret. The act of voting is performed in the Capella Paolina, and the votes are taken twice a day. Each cardinal writes on a little table in the corner of the chapel the name of the Pope he would elect in a feigned hand in the centre of the voting-ticket. The voting-tickets are of an oblong form, prepared according to the directions of the Bull of Gregory XV. In the centre of it are the printed words "Eligo in summum Pontificium Rm D. nomine D. Cardin.," after which the voter inscribes the name of the Pope he would elect. The ticket is so made that the ends above and below these words can be folded down and sealed, leaving the centre inscription visible. In the upper fold the writer signs his name, and then seals down the fold with a small seal which each voter has expressly made for this purpose, and which he prevents others from seeing. Within the lower fold he writes a motto in Latin from the Bible and a number, and this he seals up likewise. The cardinal then folds the ticket in two without again sealing it and approaches the altar, on which is placed a chalice covered with a paten. At the foot of the altar the voter lifts up his hand and exhibits the ticket between his thumb and finger. He then kneels and prays for a moment, after which he takes oath that he is about to elect him whom, according to God, he thinks ought to be elected: he then puts

the ticket on the paten and slips it from thence into the chalice, which he covers up. Then he makes anew a reverence before the altar and returns to his place. If the cardinal is infirm and cannot walk, one of the scrutators goes to his place to receive the ticket on the paten, after the cardinal has taken the prescribed oath. If he is sick in his cell three cardinals appointed for that purpose go to his cell with a closed boxlike a money box-to receive his vote and bring it to the chapel. When all the cardinals have voted, the three scrutators, who are chosen by lot each day among the cardinals, carry the chalice covered with the paten to the middle of the chapel. They turn the voting-tickets out on the paten and count them and commence the scrutiny. The first scrutator takes a ticket and opens it, and reads in a low voice the name of the cardinal written thereon, and passes the ticket on to the second scrutator, who reads it in the same way and passes it on to the third. The third scrutator proclaims in a loud voice the name inscribed on each ticket as handed to him, and as he does this the cardinals, who are all seated in their places, with a printed list of all the members of the Sacred College before them on paper ruled with red lines, score one by one the votes obtained by each cardinal, and the third scrutator files the tickets as he receives them on a string. If any cardinal has received two-thirds of the votes of those present in conclave, he is Pope. Papa factus est. If no one unites this number they pass immediately to the ballot of the per accessum, to the second turn of the ballot. In the ballot per accessum each cardinal has the faculty of voting anew for a different candidate from the one for whom he voted the first time, and for this purpose, by the aid of the number and his motto from the Bible, the scrutator examines his first ticket in order to see that he does not vote twice for the same cardinal. If in this second round of the ballot any cardinal gets a number of votes which are sufficient when added to the number he obtained in the first round to make up two-thirds, he is a Pope; and generally the Popes are elected in the second round. After each ineffectual scrutiny the voting-papers are burnt, and the populace of Rome have sometimes divined that the election of the Pope has been completed by the non-appearance of the smoke from the chimney of the Conclave, which they watch every day at the appointed hour of voting in the morning. But at last the Sacred College has decided. The Pope has been chosen. Papam habemus; Papa factus est. There he sits still among the cardinals, pale with emotion; those who are near him retire to a distance; all fall upon their knees, they arise and encircle him. The Dean and the senior cardinal priest approach him and ask if he accepts the dignity, and what name he will take. The Pope elect consents and gives out the name under which he will be known as Pope. He is led behind the altar, where Pontifical robes of white are in readiness, and the slippers embroidered with the cross of gold. He is placed in the chair of St. Peter. The Cardinal and Dean kneel and kiss his foot and his right hand; the Pope lifts them up and kisses them on both cheeks (osculum pacis). The

other cardinals follow and chant "Ecce sacerdos magnus." This is the ceremony of the first adoration. After this the Dean, preceded by the sacristans and the cross, proceeds to the loggia of St. Peter and announces to the assembled people the name of their new Pope. "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, habemus Pontificem eminentissimum et reverendissimum Dominum-N.N. qui sibi nomen imposuit-M.M.," after which the cannons of the Castle of St. Angelo salute their new master, and the bells of Rome ring throughout the city, while the house of the new Pope is thrown open to feast all comers. The Pope is then anew placed on the altar, and the cardinals proceed to a second adoration, after which he is carried from the Capella Paolina to St. Peter's, and adored by the cardinals there a third time, and with the mitre on his head he gives benediction to the people. He then descends from the altar and is carried in a chair to the Vatican. In the evening the streets of the Papal capital are illuminated, and a display of fireworks inaugurates the new reign.


As has been said, in no electioneering contests since the beginning of time has such subtlety of strategy and tactics been displayed as in the Conclaves.

The Court of Rome has always been considered an unrivalled school for fine diplomacy, and the wily old cardinal, with the bland exterior of the dove, has interiorly all the stealthy, gliding wisdom of the serpent. Nor have the contests for the Papacy and the Conclaves been always carried on in quiet fashion. Often in the middle of the night have the shouts and clamour of rival factions been heard by the guards without, as was especially the case in the election of Pius V. For crises grow up from time to time in the Conclave; each party is afraid that their adversaries will make the Pope without them, and they pass the night in watchfulness, suspicious of every movement on the part of their opponents. Treatises have, as has been said, been written by ancient Conclavists, such as Azzolino, Lottino, Gaultiero, on the art of managing Conclaves, and are excellent subjects for diplomatic study. The cardinals may be divided into four classes (1) those recognised as papabili at present or for the future that is, cardinals with a present or future chance of the Papacy; (2) the cardinals who are recognised as the heads of factions-the cardinal nephews of the last Pope, and the cardinals of his creation, his creatures as they are called; (3) cardinal princes, or cardinals nearly allied to royal houses; (4) cardinals who are simple electors. The factions in the Conclave are made up of the factions of France, Spain, Italy, and Austria, the faction of the nephews and creatures of the deceased Pope, and the faction of neutral cardinals, who are independent. The factions of Spain, France, and Austria are necessarily not now so strongly marked as in former times, when these countries contended for the empire of Europe; nevertheless, in the case

of a new election at the present time the Italian faction will undoubtedly play a great part. As for the faction of the nephews and creatures of the deceased Popes, this, too, is not of such importance as was once the case, since nepotism is no longer practised in the shameful fashion of former times; when it did exist its main object naturally was to get such a Pope elected as would not inquire too nicely into the affairs of the last Papacy, but allow all sinecures and favours and dignities to remain with those on whom they had been bestowed. This faction rarely made any effort to get a Pope elected from their own members, since the Sacred College made it almost an invariable rule to break with the system and connections of the late Pope, so that the papal bounties might be diverted into fresh channels. The aim of each cardinal naturally was, first, to get himself elected Pope if possible, and next, if that were not possible, to get such a Pope elected as would confer upon him the greatest amount of advantage with the least prospect of disfavour. What promises would a Borgia not be willing to make to the one lacking vote necessary for the assumption of the tiara?

When Spain and Austria had large possessions in Italy, the object of each Power was not only to have a Pope who should serve their own policy, but also to have one of feeble character, who would give them no trouble in the Peninsula in respect of their own dependencies there. France desired a Pope naturally of opposite leaning, yet without too much of that zeal of which M. de Talleyrand had a horror, so that she might escape as far as possible from Ultramontane influence. The chiefs of factions play a great role in the Conclave, their object being continually to keep their party together and to break up that of their adversary, so as to ensure the due number of votes to a candidate of their own nomination. Their usual plan is to keep artfully back the candidate whom they would fain impose upon the Conclave till the most opportune moment; therefore their first precautionary measure was to assure themselves of the exclusion of the candidate whom they would wish to keep out of the Papacy. For this reason the chief of a faction will often at first put up mere men of straw, who will not, he is sure, be elected, in order to get them to form what are called the "parties of exclusion,” which are leagues against particular candidates. As it can reasonably be supposed, the parties into which the Conclave finds itself divided at starting have been prepared outside the Conclave. In former times the monarchs and princes of Europe tried every diplomatic manœuvre and art of seduction, with a liberal addition of gifts and promises, to win over a party of the cardinals to their side, so as to form a compact body on whom they could rely.

When the Conclave, nevertheless, has once met, however strictly the parties may at first hold together, yet the intensity of present hopes and fears has soon a dissolving effect, and a small incident in the Conclave will often assume a prodigious importance, and operate marvellously on the voting, while motives which were all-powerful without lose their

force within the walls of the Conclave. In the seclusion and rigour of the Conclave life small grievances, the want of address of one cardinal or the neglect of another, a mere oversight or a trifling mistake, assume gigantic proportions; past favours and promises are forgotten in the absorption of the moment, and the candidate who was rejected yesterday may be accepted to-day by acclamation; for defection is often contagious in the Conclave, and a crowd of cardinals sufficient to form the necessary majority may be carried away by a sudden impulse. It has even happened that a body of cardinals would be carried away by such an impulse in the middle of the night and bring their Pope down to the chapel, and that their brother cardinals, on hearing of the fact, would rush from their beds in their night-dresses in order not to be behindhand in adoring the new Pope.

In all these internal measures of the Conclave the Conclavists or attendants of each cardinal are of great use; they are ever on the watch, noting narrowly the movements, the interviews, the change of features, and the expressions of the opponents of their own cardinal, and not omitting to keep an eye on those of his own party. It is the business of the Conclavist to take note of every whisper and feel every breath of air in the Conclave, and report his observations to his master. But whatever is done, whether it be done by Conclavist, papable or other cardinal, should be done with perfect courtesy, both as regards friend and foe; nothing is more dangerous than to let your adversary think you despise him, for his increased enmity will double his activity, and you may, moreover, still have need to approach him in the way of compromise. If the conduct of the chief of a faction requires subtle circumspection, still more is this the case with the papable cardinal; his first care is not to expose himself at all, and therefore he puts himself forward as little as possible; he affects a modest and indifferent air. Patience is an indispensable virtue in such a candidate, which no discovery of treacherous dealing on the part of friends, nor any cause of irritation coming from his enemies, should disturb for an instant; he must learn to watch and to wait, and to endure without discouragement, and wear the same smile of content under the gaze of envious and prying eyes at every passing discomfiture. But from the chiefs of factions, if they would carry their own man to the Papacy, hardly less dexterity of conduct is expected. Above all and the chief of chiefs is the nephew of the last Pope; he has a difficult game to play. Accustomed to adulation, and often to a share of sovereign power, he must learn at once to dispense with all the homage and obsequiousness to which he has been habituated, and the first Conclave in which he sits will determine his future. He can trust to no one; he must himself sound the depth of the conscience of each cardinal. Of all those created during the late Pontificate he probably knows more than anybody else the reasons which decided their nomination to the cardinalate, their social and financial position and their intellectual worth, their family and social relations, their public and private characters, what

« PrejšnjaNaprej »