Cardinal denies involvement in papal election reform, reports “a pure lie”

papal election

Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a prominent figure in Church law, has vehemently denied any role in the reported changes to the papal election process,

According to The Pillar and The Remnant websites Cardinal Ghirlanda (pictured), an important advisor to Pope Francis, had been tasked by the pope with drafting revisions to the conclave.

Ghirlanda called the reports “a pure lie”.

The proposed alterations, as outlined by The Pillar and The Remnant, suggest a shift towards a more synodal approach.

These changes include the transformation of pre-conclave meetings (known as general congregations) into small-group discussions.

These meetings have been compared to the small-group format of the Synod on Synodality held in October.

Furthermore, participation in these meetings would be limited to cardinals under the age of 80, the ones eligible to vote for the next pope.

“I do not know anything about it, and any implication I have in it is a pure lie” Ghirlanda stated.

The Vatican’s official spokesperson, Matteo Bruni, in a statement to CNA has also disavowed any knowledge of papal election reforms.

However 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, as is the role of Cardinal Ghirlanda.”

Laypeople to participate

The Remnant also suggested Pope Francis is considering a proposal by Ghirlanda to allow laypeople to participate in the conclave.

This could include the selection of a new pope.

General congregations traditionally serve as preparatory meetings of the College of Cardinals.

They offer a platform for cardinals to acquaint themselves with the regulations governing conclaves.

During these gatherings, cardinals can express their views, seek clarification and make suggestions.

The papal election process and the sede vacante (the period between a pope’s departure and the election of a new one) are regulated by St John Paul II’s 1996 apostolic constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis and Pope Francis’s 2022 apostolic constitution, Praedicate Evangelium.

However the conclave, held in the Sistine Chapel, is a strictly confidential affair.

All participating cardinals take an oath to maintain complete secrecy, subject to automatic excommunication if violated.


Catholic News Agency

The Pillar

CathNews New Zealand

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