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The Twenty rules of Gregory XV.—Signal for strangers to clear out.— Scale of payment of fees to servants and attendants in Conclave.— Death of a Cardinal in Conclave.—Business of each meeting of the Cardinals between the death of the Pope and the commencement of Conclave.:—Entry into Conclave.—Bull of Pius VI. dispensing with certain formalities in the election of his successor.—Next Conclave in all probability will be quite regular.
The rules for regulating the proceedings of the Conclave made at divers times by various Popes, specially, as has been seen, by Gregory X., were anew reduced to order, confirmed, and set forth by Gregory XV., on the 15th of November, 1621, by a Bull entitled jfiterni Patris Filius. These rules may be thus compendiously stated:—
1st. The election of the Pontiff in Conclave, and no otherwise, may be done in either of three manners—by scrutiny, by compromise, or by acclamation (i.e. the manner earlier called and which has been described as "adoration").
2nd. The number of votes needed to make an election is two-thirds of those present in Conclave. And a man's own vote for himself shall not be counted in this number.
3rd. No election shall be considered as accomplished unless all the votes shall have been published.
4th. If more than one person has two-thirds of the votes, no election has taken place.*
5th. Before placing his voting paper in the urn, every elector shall swear that he has named in it him whom he believes to be the most fitting person. He must write in the schedule his own name and that of the person to whom he gives his vote.
Gth. These schedules must be folded f and sealed in order that it may be ascertained by the seal that two schedules have not been put into the urn by one elector.
7th. The schedules, for the scrutiny and for the "accessit," £ must be alike.
8th. The name of the person voted for must be stated in the "accessit" schedule, as in the case of the scrutiny.
9th. He who purposes to "accede" to some one who has been nominated at the scrutiny must write the name of that person. He who does not purpose to do so must write nemini—to no one—in the place of the name.
10th. In each scrutiny only one "accessit" shall take place.
11th. Both at a scrutiny and at an "accessit" the schedules shall be counted before they are opened, to see whether the number of them is equal to that of the cardinals in Conclave.
* It seems difficult to understand this at first. The explanation is that the cardinals were sometimes in the habit of adding one or more other names in their voting papers to the first inscribed, meaning that they voted for the second failing the election of the first; and so on. Thus it might be possible for two persons to have two-thirds of the votes.
f The special method in which these voting papers must be folded will be explained presently.
\ This term will also be explained hereafter.
12th. He who does not observe these rules shall be excommunicated.
13th. Three cardinals chosen out of the whole bodyby lot, previous to the scrutiny, shall together with the scrutators go to the cells of such cardinals as are prevented by illness from going into the ohapel to receive their schedules in the urn.
14th. The scrutiny shall take place twice every day without exception, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, at a convenient hour.
15th. Let the cardinals abstain, under pain of excommunication, from any agreement, signal, or threat having reference to the election.
16th. Those, whether electors or elected, who contravene any of the above regulations are excommunicated with the greater excommunication. (But the same penalty had been enacted again and again for the same offence in the most solemn manner, with the result, probably, of rendering excommunicate every cardinal who ever took part in the election of any Pope!)
17th. The most rigorous secrecy respecting the election of the Pontiff is enjoined.
18th. Let the three cardinals who are the heads of the monastic orders, together with the Cardinal Camerlengo, be the executors of this Bull.
19th. Every cardinal must swear to observe these rules at the time of his promotion to the purple, a second time on the first day after the death of the Pope, and a third time after his entry into Conclave.
20th. Cardinals under ecclesiastical censures are not on that account to be excluded from taking part in the election of the Pontiff.
A Commission was appointed by Gregory XV. to draw up a manual of the ceremonial of the Conclave based on these rules; and a few minor regulations may be gleaned from the completed document put forth by the Commission. The expenses of the obsequies of the deceased Pope shall not exceed ten thousands ducats. This has nothing to do with the monument which may be raised to any Pope by the members of his family or others, but is merely the expense of the ceremonial of the funeral.
When their Eminences have entered the Conclave, after three signals on a bell, with the interval of an hour between each, nobody shall be permitted to leave the Conclave.
Clement XII. reconfirmed these provisions in a Bull, which adds nothing of importance to them, but establishes by a subsequent document, which he declared to have the same force as if it had made part of the Bull, the following scale of payments. Besides the hundred crowns a month which are customarily paid to the two physicians and the surgeon of the Conclave, a similar sum shall be paid to the secretary of the Conclave, with the onus, however, of maintaining two assistants, whom he may bring into Conclave with him. The six masters of the ceremonies in ordinary, and likewise such supernumerary masters of the ceremonies as may have received permission to come into Conclave, shall receive twenty-five crowns a month each. The confessor of the Conclave and the under-sacristan shall receive thirty crowns a month; and the person whom the iindersacristan may bring with him to serve at the mass shall have six crowns a month. If the first master of the ceremonies be a bishop, he may have an attendant to serve at the mass, as also the sacristan, and to each of such attendants ten crowns a month shall be given. And it shall be the duty of the first master of the ceremonies to keep the keys of the Conclave. No article that can be useful for future Conclaves shall be taken away by the thirty-five sweepers, except the bed that shall be given to each of them. The cardinals must take care that the doors of communication between the Conclave and the remainder of the Vatican be walled up. The wood that has been used for the construction of the Conclave shall not be taken away without the permission of the cardinals who are heads of the religious orders. If there is any remainder it shall be used for the Apostolic Palace. No mourning garments for the deceased Pope shall be given to the Camerlengo, the Treasurer, to the Auditor-General, and two Clerks of the Chamber, or to the President of the Apostolic Chamber.* No profit of any kind shall be given to any official who has not bought his office. The servants of the Conclave shall not demand new clothes under pretext of a change
* This prohibition of giving mourning clothes to some of the highest placed and richest men in Eorne is a curious indication of the universal greed, which was absolutely insensible to any sense of shame, and shrunk from no depth of meanness. It would probably be found on inquiry that the custom of giving mourning to these high officials had degenerated into a recognised job, by virtue of which the Cardinal Camerlengo's valet put a certain considerable sum of cash into his pocket, the enjoyment of which the Camerlengo grasped at as improving the value of his patronage.