Quia propter

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Quia propter (Latin: "Wherefore by…") was a document issued by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 on the subject of papal elections.[1] It recognized three processes for unanimous agreement: "acclamation", "scrutiny" (balloting), and "compromissum" (compromise committee).[1]

Acclamation was rare, and often driven more by crown dynamics than discussion among the electors.[1] Compromise committees were also rare, as they required unanimous agreement to be initiated (although, once formed, only two-thirds of the commission would be required).[1] The requisite majority by balloting was considered a process for determining divine unanimity, that is, sanior et maior pars (Latin: sounder and greater part).[1] The requirement of a two-thirds supermajority had been in place since the Third Lateran Council (1179), which followed the disputed election of Pope Alexander III.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colomer, Josep M.; McLean, Iain (1998). "Electing Popes: Approval Balloting and Qualified-Majority Rule". The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. 29 (1): 1–22. doi:10.1162/002219598551616.