The Pope Quits: Now What?

Tyler Durden's picture

While Dan Brown fans are intimately familiar with the details of Conclave, there are those who have not studied Robert Langdon's every clue-busting eureka moment under a microscope. For them, the AP has this handy step-by-step guide for how a new pope is chosen. Traditionally, this flowchart if followed upon the death of the Pontiff, but following today's first papal resignation since 1415, it is time to apply a little of the "New Normal" to the Catholic church as well. The only unknown after reading the below flowchart should be how Diebold will rig the Cardinal vote so that a Goldman partner is elected.

From AP:

Electing a pope: conclave, oath, chimney smoke


Pope Benedict XVI's resignation sets in motion a complex sequence of events to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The laws governing the selection are the same as those in force after a papal death. Here is the procedure:


— The Vatican summons a conclave of cardinals that must begin 15-20 days after Benedict's Feb. 28 resignation.


— Cardinals eligible to vote — those under age 80 — are sequestered within Vatican City and take an oath of secrecy.


— Any baptized Roman Catholic male is eligible for election as pope, but only cardinals have been selected since 1378.


— Two ballots held each morning and two each afternoon in the Sistine Chapel. A two-thirds majority is required. Benedict in 2007 reverted back to this two-thirds majority rule, reversing a 1996 decision by Pope John Paul II, who had decreed that a simple majority could be invoked after about 12 days of inconclusive voting.


— Ballots are burned after each round. Black smoke means no decision; white smoke signals that cardinals have chosen pope and he has accepted. Bells also signal the election of a pope to help avoid possible confusion over color of smoke coming from chimney of the Sistine Chapel.


— The new pope is introduced from the loggia overlooking St. Peter's Square with the words "Habemus Papam!" (Latin for "We have a pope!") and he imparts his first blessing.

* * *

Perhaps most surprisingly, in the Paddy Power Pope Prediction list which has already been compiled for the degenerate gamblers out there, we have yet to find a former Goldmanite in the list of likely successors. What is certainly ironic, and shows the transcendence of Hopium in the New Normal, is that Paddy Power gives the odds of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini becoming pope at 200/1. Only problem: Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini is dead.

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Freddie's picture

It is a shame that fat boy cop killing cop Christopher Dorner did not give a shout out to The Pope.  He gave shout outs to Charlie Sheen, Obama and other celebs.,

Zer0head's picture

We need a Pope Mario

Super Broccoli's picture

now we're gona learn some interesting stuff ... well in a century or two ...


could this have something to do with those recent leaks and financial scandals that did cut the Vatican out of the banking system ? :-)

Sudden Debt's picture


it's not their problem where those benefactors got it from...


Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

On Feb. 28, Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. That’s not just tradition – it’s dogma. The Washington Post’s Debbi Wilgoren cited a theological expert in explaining, “Most modern popes have felt that resignation is unacceptable except in cases of an incurable or debilitating disease — that paternity, in the words of Paul IV, cannot be resigned.”

But Benedict XVI’s shocking resignation is even more curious when compared to the handful of others who have left the powerful office willingly. In the past 1000 years, only four other popes have resigned. Here are their unusual stories, which are also an indication of just how much the church has changed.

Pope Benedict IX, in 1045: At age 33 and about 10 years into his tumultuous term, the Rome-born pope resigned so that he could get married – and to collect some cash from his godfather, also Roman, who paid Benedict IX to step down so that he might replace him, according to British historian Reginald L. Poole’s definitive and much-cited history of the 11th Century .

Pope Gregory VI, in 1046: The same man who had bribed and replaced his godson ended up leaving the office himself only a year later, according to Poole’s account. The trouble began when Benedict IX failed to secure the bride he’d resigned for, leading him to change his mind and return to the Vatican. Both popes remained in the city, both claiming to rule the Catholic church, for several months. That fall, the increasingly despondent clergy called on the German Emperor Henry III, of the Holy Roman Empire, to invade Rome and remove them both. When Henry III arrived, he treated Gregory VI as the rightful pope but urged him to stand before a council of fellow church leaders. The bishops urged Gregory VI to resign for bribing his way into office. Though the fresh new pope argued that he had done nothing wrong in buying the Papacy, he stepped down anyway.

Pope Celestine V, in 1294: After only five months in office, the somber Sicilian pope formally decreed that popes now had the right to resign, which he immediately used. according to a report in the Guardian. He wrote, referring to himself in the third person, that he had resigned out of “the desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, his longing for the tranquility of his former life.” He became a hermit, but two years later was dragged out of solitude by his successor, who locked him up in an Italian castle. Celestine died 10 months later.

Pope Gregory XII, in 1415: The elderly Venetian had held the office for 10 years, but he was not the only pope. For decades, the Western Schism had left Europe with two popes, one in Rome and one in the French city of Avignon, according to Britannica. The schism’s causes were political rather than theological: the pope had tremendous power over European politics, which had led its kings to become gradually more aggressive in manipulating the church’s leaders. Gregory XII resigned so that a special council in Constance, which is today a German city, could excommunicate the Avignon-based pope and start fresh with a new, single leader of the Catholic church.

Pope Benedict XVI, in 2013: Citing health reasons from old age, he announced today that he will step down on Feb. 28.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

I'm willing to bet there is more to this resignation than health issues... I'm not going to speculate on the reasons. I think like most other institutions the bodies are piling up too high to hide and the stench is too powerful to mask anymore. We shall see.

BLOTTO's picture



Their is definitely more to his resignation then 'health issues.'


As Pope, your suppose to go out either kicking & screaming or the usual - dead?

Resigning as a Pope is massive just have only 1 BILLION followers around the, lets just quit?


Thats like Jesus saying, "i have nothing more to teach/say."


BandGap's picture

We'll never know why. Not even the National Enquirer can penetrate the intelligence shroud of The Vatican.

CPL's picture

Because it takes decades of training to finish the method of loci and the Catholic church would screen out most before that happens.

Intelligence agencies have billions of dollars in hardware and googleplexes of information in them.  The method of the loci, or Loci Theologici, ensures that any of the recipents of the training have been entrained to remember, without equipment, anything they study once, see once, glance at once and perform metrics, analysis and duplication on.  Herbert modeled the Mentats in the Dune series after it, living database and computers.

It's neat stuff.  Simply put, the education system currently does not have any mechanism to offer anything remotely the same.  Most that go through the training must be taught from a very young age to prepare their minds for the training, hence Catholic schools. 

Today however Catholic school is in name sake only and only offers only a conditional nod to the original sylabus that was to create the future generation of clergy before the governments of the world stuck their noses in it

If you wish to learn the methods.  It's seven years in seminary and about twenty plus years of a career wearing the cloth. 

Oh regional Indian's picture

Fascinating....mentat...Duncan Idaho....the dialouges are Dune that is...


CPL's picture

Neat eh? 

Weird thing is they are closest in relation to the Eastern Indian Vedic tradition of vriti.  Memory palace, quick math, photographic memory training.  The difference is in the game theory and analysis taught with it to do something with the data captured.  There are variations in similar themes in European Pagan, Judaic, Talmudic and some Muslim practices regarding the method of loci. 



Oh regional Indian's picture

Always appreciate your in-sights CPL. :-)

And yes, the human mind with it's un-ending potential...

secret_sam's picture

Despite being fully recovered from my youth as a Catholic, I did always have a bit of a nauseated vibe with a Hitler Youth member in that position.

CPL's picture

He did not look well to begin with.  The guy looks like the after picture of  Emperor Palatine in Star Wars.

Sudden Debt's picture

I think I've seen some of those movies...

Bandit und Buster's picture

Sounds like Celestine V had a conscience and was subsequently killed for his honesty!

Go figure!

CPL's picture

He was the accidental pope after Nicholas the Fourth, who was a complete and total dirt bag.  Francisian monk, liked money, hookers and some 'odd' things (there is weird, then there is Nicholas the IVth weird.).  But since he kicked the bucket and all the church dirt bags he hung around with died from plague (maybe from him, who knows).

He was the only geniune good and saintly one out of all of them.  The entire Catholic order made his life a living hell for the year or so he was in.

Raymond Reason's picture

St. Malachy, an uncannily accurate prophet of the 11 century, predicted therre would be 112 Popes until the end of times.  Pope Benedict is #111.  Our parasite infection will soon be solved, among other things.  ;)

CPL's picture

Yes he did.  His hit rate is somewhere in the order of 98.4% or 96.3% of revelation completion.  His order of events is sometimes a bit off, but he's on the money and holy shit was he prolific.

He would get drunk and start to scribe about technology, people, animals, popes, everything.  En Vino Veritas I suppose.  Nostrodamus was a twink in comparison.

Raymond Reason's picture

This is a great website.  Leading edge. Just texted my Catholic friends, and shocked them. 

CPL's picture

Welcome to Zero hedge Brother.  I promise there is always something interesting happening and something to piss you off all at the same time.

lizzy36's picture

Whoever bonked the most kids wins.....?

otto skorzeny's picture

for a bunch of guys on ZH that claim to hate the Jew Stream Media everybody falls for their bullshit on the Catholic Church hook line and sinker. there is a much greater ratio of child molesters in the public school system that brainwashes your children but the payout is not as great w/ the Catholic Church.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

The other little secret that the media fails to mention is, it's homosexuals in the Church that are responsible for the vast majority of child molestation cases. Somehow, the heterosexual priests seem to be able to keep their pants zippered, and their hands to themselves.

But those facts don't fit the narrative, so you don't get to read that part of the story.

redpill's picture

Child molesters in general society don't strut around in fancy garb pretending to be a gateway to God and telling people how to live. It's the dark rotting stench of ultimate hypocrisy that fuels the perception.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

So you are saying, it is better to wallow in sin, then actually try to rise above it, and fail?

redpill's picture

Living in hypocrisy is not trying to overcome it, it's flaunting it.

Any priest that resigns on the grounds that he can't help himself from abusing his power to gain sexual access to children is at least worth some shred of respect for acknowledging their own failure, compared to those that continue on and pretend their periodic confession wipes away the life long damage they repeatedly inflict on innocents. It's inexcusable.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

So you are suggesting that the hypocrisy is worse than the sexual abuse of children?

redpill's picture

No I'm not.  Have you stopped beating your wife?

a growing concern's picture

Yeah let's just excuse their pederasty because, after all, they're doing God's Work (TM).

Raymond Reason's picture

Same thing with the "secretive" Vatican bank.  Constantly being reported by mainstream of suspicion and investigation of international money laundering and shady deals.  JP Morgan cut them off, because they weren't complying with transparency laws!  Vatican bank didn't fail or need bailing out during the crisis.  Where's the Goldman investigation?  

Shizzmoney's picture

Please pick the black guy

Super Broccoli's picture

no you guys already elected a black american pope twice !

bank guy in Brussels's picture

With a new possible pope from Nigeria as among the top leading candidates

One can imagine the e-mails that will start to arrive

How the pope's brother-in-law needs your help transferring some funds internationally ...

Shizzmoney's picture

Imagine the new black pope picking Peter as a name; bullish on conspiracy and anti-christ websites!

redpill's picture

He says he's from Nigeria but word has it his Nigerian mother got impregnated by a Chicago politician and he was actually born at U of C Medical Center. Oh we'll he has a Nigerian birth certificate supposedly.

In any case, drones should be patrolling the Vatican soon.

DoneThis2Long's picture

LOL ... But will it be a forged Nigerian certificate? And will he be Nigerian enough?

Perhaps the Vatican is selling assets too ?!?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

So explain to me how the right hand of God here on Earth, the Pope, does not have the strength to continue to be the right hand of God here on Earth.

Or does this perhaps have anything to do with the growing scandal involving the Dear Pope and buggery of boys by various others who reported to him when he was not the right hand of God on Earth?

Super Broccoli's picture

wait didn't the SS pretend "god mit uns" ????

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Anybody bother to consider that he might have Alzheimers, or some similar age-related mental problem? He is 85 years old, after all.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

I considered years ago,

that he might have a mental problem.