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Mode of Procedure at the Scrutiny.—"Ante-scrutiny."—The Four Actions composing it.—Description of the voting papers.—The Eight Actions composing the Scrutiny more properly so called.— Infirm Cardinals.—The Manner of their voting.—Relatives may not be Conclavists.—How this rule is evaded.—The "Accessit."—The "Post-scrutiny."—Different procedure in case an election has or has not been accomplished.—Care to ascertain that an elector has not made the necessary majority by voting for himself.—Cases of conscience as regards the voting.—Objects intended to be ensured by Conclave rules impossible of atta inment.—Conclusion.
It remains to give an account of the mode of procedure adopted in the scrutiny and the "accessit," which latter operation, however, is more properly considered as a portion of the scrutiny, though often spoken of even by ecclesiastical writers as a separate act.
The scrutiny, as denned by the Bull of Gregory XV., must be secret, and consists of three portions—the "ante-scrutiny," the "scrutiny" more properly so called, and the "post-scrutiny."
Four actions go to the performance of the "antescrutiny ": 1. The preparation of the schedules or voting papers. 2. The drawing by lot of the three scrutators and of the three deputed to wait on the infirm cardinals in their cells. 3. The writing of the voting papers. 4. The folding and sealing of the same.
Of the second of these nothing need be added to what has before been said.
The preparing, writing, folding, and sealing of the voting papers is done as follows.
The schedule, or slip of paper on which the vote is written, is about eight inches long by six wide. These papers have been previously printed and divided thus:—
The voter after "Ego" writes his baptismal name, and after "Card" his surname; fills the third division of the schedule with the name and surname of the cardinal to whom he gives his vote, writing these words as far as possible in such sort that they shall not be recognised by his colleagues as his writing; writes in the fifth division of the paper an Arabic number and a motto; and then folds and seals as described presently.
Here is a specimen of the electoral schedule duly filled:—
The voter then folds the first division down over the second, and seals it in the two places marked by circles; and folds up the fifth division over the fourth, and seals it down similarly; so that only the words written in the middle division, "Eligo in Summum Pontificem," soand-so, remain visible. But before putting the paper into the urn, these also are covered by folding the two remaining portions of the paper yet once again over the central part.
The practice which formerly prevailed of writing more than one name in the voting paper, with the understanding that the elector gave his vote to the first named if he had enough votes to eleet, and to the second inscribed if the first should not so have, was abolished by Gregory XV.; and at the present day any voting paper which contained more than one name would be considered null and void.
The acts of the "anti-scrutinium " having been thus duly performed, we proceed to those of the " scrutinium" itself, which are with equally pedantic minuteness divided by the ecclesiastical writers into eight operations: 1. The carrying of the schedules. 2. Taking the oath. 3. Placing the vote in the urn. 4. Mixing up all the votes in the urn. 5. Counting the schedules. 6. Publishing the result to all the cardinals present. 7. Filing the schedules. 8. Putting them away separately.
First, carrying the voting papers. Each cardinal, habited in the "croccia," or long mantle, which has been described, and beginning with the Dean of the Sacred College, walks from his place to the altar, carrying the schedule folded and sealed in the manner specified, held high between his finger and thumb. Arrived at the step of the altar, he kneels and (second act) pronounces the following oath: "Testor Christum Dominum, qui me judicaturus est, me eligere quern secundum Deum judico elegi debere, et quod in accessu prestabo." "I call to witness Christ our Lord, who shall be my judge, that I am electing him whom before God I think ought to be elected, and the same as to the vote, which I shall give at the 'accessit.'" On the altar there is a large urn or chalice, covered with a patina; and the elector, having thus sworn, places his schedule on the patina, and taking that in his hand, throws the vote into the chalice with it.
Should any one of the cardinals present be unable to walk from his stall to the altar, the junior of the three scrutators goes to him at his seat, and having received from him his voting paper, after he has pronounced the oath, carries it in the manner described to the altar, and deposits it in the urn. With regard to such cardinals as are not able to come into chapel, being ill in their cells, the mode of proceeding is as follows. The three cardinals chosen by lot for this purpose place their votes in the urn immediately after the Dean, in order that they may be free to attend to the sick. Then taking from the above-mentioned table the box with the slit in the lid, they open it, and hold it up to show to all present that there is nothing in it. Then they lock it and deposit the key on the altar. Then the three deputed to attend the sick depart on their errand to the cells of the sick men, a cardinal opening the door of the chapel for them, and chaining it up again as soon as they have passed. They go to the cell of each sick man in turn, hear him pronounce the oath, and receive his vote in the box. If any cardinal is unable to write, he may depute any one of his colleagues to write his voting paper for him, in which case the person so deputed swears solemnly that he will never divulge the secret of the vote he has written, the breach of which oath involves ipso facto the greater excommunication. Or the person deputed to write the vote may be the conclavist of the infirm man; and in such cases it is very usual for a cardinal to be attended by some near