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Papabile (Italian pronunciation: [paˈpaːbile], pl. papabili) is an unofficial Italian term first coined by Vaticanologists and now used internationally in many languages to describe a Roman Catholic man, in practice always a cardinal, who is thought a likely or possible candidate to be elected pope. A literal English translation would be "pop(e)able" or "able to be pope". In Italy the term has became very common and people use it for other situations too.
In some cases the cardinals will choose a papabile candidate. Among the papabili cardinals who have been elected pope are Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII), Giovanni Battista Montini (Paul VI), and Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). However, at times the College of Cardinals elect a man who was not considered papabile by most Vatican watchers. In recent years those who were elected pope though not considered papabile include John XXIII, John Paul I, and John Paul II. There is a saying among Vaticanologists: "He who enters the conclave as pope, leaves it as a cardinal."
In Italian, the word papabile is also used to designate, among the available candidates, somebody who is likely to get elected or appointed to a specific position.
Papabili elected pope
- Francesco Saverio Castiglioni (elected as Pius VIII in 1829)
- Gioachino Pecci (elected as Leo XIII in 1878)
- Giacomo della Chiesa (elected as Benedict XV in 1914)
- Eugenio Pacelli (elected as Pius XII in 1939)
- Giovanni Battista Montini (elected as Paul VI in 1963)
- Joseph Ratzinger (elected as Benedict XVI in 2005)
- Jorge Mario Bergoglio (elected as Francis in 2013)
Papabili not elected
Being seen as papabile, however, is no guarantee of election, and is sometimes seen as a handicap. (It should be noted that while the following candidates were widely discussed as candidates publicly, the actual vote results described below are frequently based on rumours and sourced, if at all, from off-the-record reports of individual cardinals.)
- Giuseppe Siri was widely expected to be elected pope in the 1958 and 1963 conclaves and continued to be a prime contender in both 1978 conclaves. On the first of these occasions, Angelo Roncalli, an utterly unexpected choice, was elected and became Pope John XXIII.
- Giovanni Benelli was widely expected to be elected pope in both the August and October 1978 conclaves. In fact he was defeated in both (narrowly the second time). In August, a candidate few saw as papabile, Albino Luciani, was elected and became Pope John Paul I. In October, another such candidate, Karol Wojtyła, was elected as John Paul II.
- Rafael Merry del Val was a widely considered candidate during the conclaves of 1914 and 1922 which eventually elected Benedict XV and Pius XI respectively, although he never garnered enough votes to be in serious contention.
- Bartolomeo Pacca - experienced diplomat under Pius VII, he was a candidate in 1823 and favored to win in 1829 but was vetoed by France. Cardinal Castiglioni was elected as Pius VIII.
- Emmanuele de Gregorio - expected to succeed Leo XII and Pius VIII, but never did.
- Mariano Rampolla - Leo XIII's Secretary of State. He was headed for victory in the 1903 conclave only to be vetoed by Kraków Cardinal Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko on behalf of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I. With Rampolla blocked, Giuseppe Sarto was elected and became Pius X. One of Pius X's first acts was to abolish the rights of states to veto.
- Carlo Maria Martini - Jesuit, biblical exegete, Archbishop of Milan from 1980 to 2002. Considered to be the most likely successor to John Paul II for much of the 1980s and 1990's but was already suffering from Parkinson's disease by the time the 2005 papal conclave was convened.
- Francis Arinze - Speculated by some media reports as a highly favoured successor to John Paul II but did not gain a substantial amount of votes in the 2005 papal conclave.
Papabili at the 2013 conclave
The following cardinals, as noted in the cited references, were also considered papabili at the 2013 conclave which elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who took the name Francis.
- Angelo Bagnasco
- Timothy M. Dolan
- Péter Erdő
- Seán Patrick O'Malley
- Marc Ouellet
- Gianfranco Ravasi
- Leonardo Sandri
- Odilo Pedro Scherer
- Christoph Schönborn
- Angelo Scola
- Luis Antonio Tagle
- Peter Turkson
Non-papabili elected pope
- Annibale della Genga (elected as Leo XII in 1823)
- Bartolomeo Alberto Mauro Cappellari (elected as Gregory XVI in 1831)
- Giuseppe Sarto (elected as Pius X in 1903)
- Achille Ratti (elected as Pius XI in 1922)
- Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (elected as John XXIII in 1958)
- Albino Luciani (elected as John Paul I in 1978)
- Karol Wojtyła (elected as John Paul II in 1978)
Pope John Paul I predicted Cardinal Wojtyła — the future John Paul II — would succeed him, and Cardinal Jean-Marie Villot predicted in May 1978 that only Wojtyła could gain the support of two-thirds of the cardinal electors, but was not widely considered papabile because he was not Italian and came from the Eastern bloc.
- Holy See
- Papal conclave (2005; 2013)
- Papal coronation
- Papal tiara
- Short list, an analogous secular concept
- "Papa" + suffix "-abile". Compare "combinabile", combinable or able to be combined.
- "Papabile". Enciclopedia Treccani. Fondazione Treccani. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
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- Goodstein/Fisher (April 17, 2005). "Cardinals Align as Time Nears to Select Pope". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Oaks, Tammy (April 19, 2005 (Posted: 1150 GMT)). "Bookmakers lay odds on new pope". CNN International. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "One Of These Men Will Be The Next Pope". Business Insider. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Choose your own pope – with our interactive Pontifficator". The Guardian. 12 March 2013. Contains descriptions of all 115 cardinal electors, 13 of whom are marked as papabili.
- http://www.jigsawlounge.co.uk/film/reviews/father-figures-vatican-lounge-s-papabile-focus-on-the-266th-pope/ Neil Young's Film Lounge: Father Figures: Vatican Lounge's Papabile Focus on the 266th Pope. Retrieved March 15, 2013
- Huffington Post Papabile 2013: Top Contenders To Be Next Pope As We Enter Conclave. March 10, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013
- John L. Allen Jr. (March 3, 2013). "Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
- "The top contenders to be the next pope". thespec.com. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
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- "New pontiff by March says Vatican". The Irish Times. 11 February 2013.
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- "Mögliche Nachfolger: Wer hat die größten Chancen
den Platz von Joseph Ratzinger einzunehmen?". NewsAT. 11 February 2013.
- "Hungarian Erdo "favourite as next pope" - papal entourage". The Italian Insider. 11 February 2013.
- CBS News (2013). "Archbishop Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary". CBS News. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Connor, Tracy (20 February 2013). "Boston's sandal-wearing Cardinal O'Malley getting papal buzz". NBC News. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet among frontrunners to replace Pope Benedict XVI". National Post. 11 February 2013.
- Donadio, Rachel (11 February 2013). "Pope Benedict XVI Says He Will Resign". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 February 2013. More than one of
- "Papal conclave: Runners and riders". BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Henry Chu, (March 9, 2013). "The men who might be pope". Fox News. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Allen, Jr., John L. (26 February 2013). "Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Tom Heneghan, (March 1, 2013). "Cardinals start to winnow down papal candidates lists". Reuters. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Paolo Gambi (March 5, 2013). "The men who could be pope: Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Katharine Lackey (March 10, 2013). "CARDINAL GIANFRANCO RAVASI". USA Today. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Associated Press, (March 10, 2013). "Top contenders as cardinals move toward historic conclave to elect next pope". Fox News. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Sandri, Leonardo (11 February 2013). "Argentine Cardinal Possible Successor To Pope Benedict XVI". The Huffington Post.
- Gerard O'Connell, Andrea Tornielli (March 2, 2013). "Un ticket per votare il primo Papa latinoamericano". La Stampa. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- ABC News (March 10, 2013). "Cardinal Christoph Schonborn: Papal Contender". ABC News. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- BBC New (March 12, 2013). "Papal conclave: Runners and riders". BBC. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Andrea Tornielli (March 3, 2013). "Scola becomes "papabile" again: The Americans are also with him". La Stampa. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- "Ghana’s Turkson Favorite to Succeed Benedict as Pope". Bloomberg. 11 February 2013.
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