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THE PAPAL CONCLAVES
AS THEY WERE AND AS THEY ARE.
CHAPJVIAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY
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Never before, since a bishop's See was first established in Home, whether by St. Peter or another, has the world at the period of the election of one Pope had so long a time in which to forget the election of his predecessor. St. Peter is said by tradition to have been bishop at Rome for twenty-five years. And no Pope of all the two hundred and sixty who occupied the See between his death and the election of Pius IX. ever reigned so long as Peter, the longest reign having been that of Pius VI., who died in 1799, after an incumbency of twenty-four years and eight months.
The present Pope has already reigned more than thirty years; and in the course of nature it cannot be long before the world will see yet one more Conclave. But not only will the coming Conclave be a newer thing to the world than ever was a Conclave before; it will take place under circumstances very essentially differing from those under which all former Conclaves have been held, for the Pope is no longer a temporal sovereign.
There exists no controlling cause why the Conclave which will elect the successor to Pius IX. should not