Happy Birthday, you’re ineligible! (Not so much)

Our blog buddy David M. Cheney wrote to OJ in regard to an exception to cardinals not voting in conclave after they turn age 80. Here’s the relevant portion on his blog, David’s Ruminations:


There has been some confusion about when a Cardinal loses the right to vote in a conclave.

It is not, under current law, the day a Cardinal turns 80.

The relevant portion of Universi Dominici Gregis (John Paul II, 22 Feb 1996) is in paragraph 33:

The right to elect the Roman Pontiff belongs exclusively to the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, with the exception of those who have reached their eightieth birthday before the day of the Roman Pontiff’s death or the day when the Apostolic See becomes vacant.
So the key factor is the age of the Cardinal on the day the Holy See becomes vacant. If he turned 80 before that day, he is not eligible to vote. If the Cardinal turns 80 on or after that day, he remains eligible to vote until that Conclave is completed.”


David’s pretty sharp about these things. Be sure to visit him at “davids-ruminations.blogspot.com,” his other rather fantastic blog, “catholic-hierarchy-news.blogspot.com,” or his website, “catholic-hierarchy.org/”