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Papal Election Process

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The Papal Election process has been around for centuries. Though probably no where perfect in means of selecting a new Pope, it has served well with where it stands now. I believe that there are some things that can be changed about the whole process, in which I'll share with you.

As most of you know, it is only the Cardinals that are allowed to vote for the new Pope. Although this is a very good system, I believe as being a "Universal Church", that the 1.2 billion Catholics in this world should have some type of voice as to who will be representing them as the Church. Although the Cardinals do a great job of choosing Cardinals, as example pope John Paul II, but each and every Catholic should have some type of say.

Each Cardinal should have a vote in their respective areas, for the people. To send out the Bishops, and have them talk to the Priests, to bring it up to the people of the parishes. Although, understood that not everyone, or not even most people will know everything about every Cardinal, their voices should still be heard, even if not in a huge way.

With as much as the Church teaches to be trustworthy, and trying to bring people into the church, it seems that the Church does not, somehow, trust the opinion of the people, where not many decisions are given to the parishioners to decide on, or vote. The Church is being given money by most all families every week, so that we can support the Church, but it seems that we do not have a say as to who our leader will be. I believe that this is one big thing that can be changed about the Papal Elections. Although taking into consideration that the Catholic Church is not a "democracy" so to say, each Parishioner should have an input, even though the voice would not be as strong as the Cardinals decision. This is one idea that the Vatican might want to look into.

Another topic of interest is of who can be elected as Pope. Understood that the Pope is a very big position, also a difficult one that not just any person can handle, but to limit it to just Cardinals is at times not too good. Through the entire world, I'm sure that there are many Priests who are very worthy of that position, Priests of which could probably do a better job at the Title of Pope then most Cardinals may be able to do.

Also, with age wise of who can become Pope, I think that the church tries to choose older Cardinals, which is understandable in which they have more of an understanding of the Catholic Church. But if you look around at the Catholic Church, I'm sure there are younger Cardinals, or Priests who know just as much.

What happens with older Cardinals who are elected, they establish connections with different countries, people, etc. and then something happens where they may pass away within maybe 10-15 years. This causes an inconsistency as to what's being established, and different agreements that might have been coming about for the good of not just the Church, but the World. Where as if you elect a younger Cardinal, you can keep consistency, such as in the case of Pope John Paul II. Things can be done so much easier when one person is in an office for an extended amount of time. This of course is only if you elect the right person into the office.

The way the Cardinals are locked into one room, only lit by candle light, with no communication with the outside world at all is a very good idea. Although in this day and age, I do not believe that these means are completely necessary. Granted that no outside communications should be kept, and even be kept in one room, but the tradition of only having the room lit by candlelight can be thrown away with. There is really no reason for that to be anymore. Having electricity for lights, or whatnot is not a bad thing. It's not like the electricity for lights will be able to influence



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