Talk:2005 papal conclave

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According to this site the location of the conclave was "Vatican City" not "Sistine Chapel, Apostolic Place, Vatican City" --- Should this be changed?

Trimming down this article[edit]

Three things: 1. I agree with use's suggestion that revisions should by this point be going in the directin of trimming the glut of information. However, I think the bit that was deleted naming the cardinals most often cited in the press as papabili (Arinze, Bergoglio, Hummes, Ratzinger, Rodriguez Maradiaga, Scola, and Tettamanzi) is relevant, particularly since we have such a large list of papabili. Perhaps this could be included in the "Early Speculations" section? Once the conclave is over it will be important that the record show which cardinals were perceived, rightly or wrongly, as frontrunners. 2. The section "Past Voting Records" seems to me to be the weakest part of the article right now - there is just way more historical analysis than is necessary to support the straightforward point that "The newly elected pope often contrasts dramatically with his predecessor." 3. The chart on nationalities of the electors in "Papal election process": wouldn't it be more appropriately situated at the end of the article, immediately before or after the list of electors?--Transf1o 22:44, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

re 2.' The section "Past Voting Records" seems to me to be the weakest part of the article right now - there is just way more historical analysis than is necessary to support the straightforward point that "The newly elected pope often contrasts dramatically with his predecessor." - I could not disagree more.
  • Millions of words are being written worldwide about the election, yet few journalists actually know what they are talking about (to put it bluntly). If they read that section they might know a lot more about the actual process.
  • Most of the article is speculation, as indeed it has to be right now. That section is one of the few bits of hard facts we can produce in the article, so it would be completely illogical to remove from the article its principal factual bit.
  • This is an encyclopaedia so by definition it is supposed to contain factual detail, not a few glib, unsubstantiated statements. The conclusions of that section reflect the content of the section. Take out or severely edit that information and you contradict the requirement on wikipedia to cite your sources, reducing the section from factual analysis to something that would seem simply to be like unsourced, unevidenced POV. FearÉIREANN 00:50, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The point of my suggestion is that this is an article about the 2005 papal conclave and it seems difficult to justify a sprawling section about previous papal conclaves in the middle of an article that is already too long. The section isn't an example of conformity to the "cite your sources" requirement at all--it cites no sources whatsoever! I don't dispute the accuracy of this section, and I concede it has value as evidence, but the length is out of all proportion. The information is no doubt useful and perhaps belongs in another article (maybe Papal Election) which this section could reference. It could all be summed up as follows: "The newly elected pope often contrasts dramatically with his predecessor; every pope of the twentieth century was in important respects very different from the man he succeeded. (See [other article])" or something to that effect. Perhaps a compromise would be to mention one striking example--say Leo XIIII and Pius X--and then simply state "Every other twentieth century pope also contrasted with his predecessor in some important respect. (See [other article])" I will wait for feedback from you and the other editors before doing anything about this, though.--Transf1o 01:13, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But the only way to understand how conclaves work is to see the context. I think the claim about it being "difficult to justify a sprawling section" as ludicrous. It is vital if you want to know how a conclave works to know the background, and that section does it. That context isn't appearing in the media - who rely on simplistic clearly wrong claims from a brief reading of some cuttings files - "how the church regularly elects seventy-year olds to have short reigns" - wrong. It has elected one seventy-something in 250 years, etc. I would regard your suggestion of burying the facts that can offer a guide to what is likely to happen in a side article to make more room for more inevidenced speculation like the ridiculous long lists we have now as unencyclopaediac and utterly the wrong approach. That section should be central to enable readers to contextualise this conclave, not shunted to one side. If anything should go it is the list of cardinals - listing them isn't evidence of anything but that they exist. That can and should be linked. But not the relevant analysis of context. I am completely opposed to your suggestion and think you are focusing on the strongest part of the article to make cuts when it is the weaker unfocused speculation bits that are actually skirting POV and can and should be edited. FearÉIREANN 01:37, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

FearÉIREANN, I reiterate that this article is about the 2005 conclave and its purpose is to give information about the 2005 conclave. The point of the article is not to explain how conclaves work; that is a more general topic suited, perhaps, to the article Papal Election. See Wikipedia:Stay on topic. The list of cardinal electors is not at all irrelevant and it should not be linked: it is eminently on topic (what could be more on topic in an article on the 2005 conclave than the names of the cardinals who are participating in it?) Moreover, just because something helps the reader to contextualize the 2005 conclave, doesn't mean it belongs here at all costs. This article can't do everything; it would be useful for a reader to know, for instance, what the role of the papacy is in the church, but that information doesn't belong in the article. Nor is the purpose of the article to counteract mistaken ideas circulating in the media. Speculation is normally out of place in an encyclopedia article, but one interesting feature of conclaves--a fact about conclaves that the article must talk about--is the speculation that does occur around them. The article itself, as it stands now, does not indulge in glib speculation but merely documents what the vaticanisti and the media, rightly or wrongly, are saying. A week or so from now when a new Pope is elected, an important part of the article will be what names were bandied about as papabili . The "past voting records" section, however, will be completely irrelevant to this particular article and there will be no argument then over whether it should go. I say if it will be irrelevant in a week, it's irrelevant now, so let's lose it in the interests of staying on topic and keeping this article to a reasonable length.--Transf1o 03:25, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Again 100% wrong. This is an enclopaedia, which means that its articles are supposed to be factual, relevant, informative and neutral. The section you are opposed to is all of those. The list of cardinals is factual in the same way as listing every voter in the British general election would be factual, Suggesting that 'x' is more electable than 'y' is pure POV. The vast majority of cardinals have no chance whatsoever of being elected, and would die of fright if they so much as got a single vote. Elections revolve around a handful of powerbrokers and candidates. Listing everyone is 100% irrelevant and pure glib speculation A classic example is the ridiculous claims in the media that Ratzinger is a serious candidate. He has as much chance of becoming pope as I. He is too old. He is too controversial. He is too associated with the last papacy (and as the analysis section you have a bee in your bonnet about shows, cardinals for nearly 200 years have deliberately not chosen the same persuasion of pope twice) and he has made enemies throughout the church. So he is a non-starter, but you'd never guess that from the crap written in the media about the conclave from journalists who are suddenly presuming to be experts on a topic until recently they could hardly spell . What is relevant is how the electoral body decides, and that is how shown by past evidence. If you want to stay on topic, ditch POV lists and stick with factual analysis of context, which is what an encyclopaedia is all about. If you simply want to repeat unsound speculation and lists of from 'here's today's gossip in the newsroom', read a tabloid. This is an encyclopaedia and enclopaedias include context and background information. Newspapers don't. They make lists. This isn't a newspaper. FearÉIREANN 18:01, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Oh my. I'm not really interested in getting into an edit war but it looks like one is brewing here. Let's remember that 1. we're talking about whether a lengthy digression on "Past Voting Records" belongs in an article about the 2005 conclave. All I am saying is that it is off topic. I made an effort to retain as much of the section as was reasonable. 2. I don't dispute that the "Past Voting Records" section is factual, relevant, informative, neutral, encyclopedic, etc. Even if it is all of these things, it is still not about the 2005 conclave. 3. this is a completely separate issue from whether some other parts of the article are POV. If you think they are POV or non-encyclopedic, propose their deletion or reworking. What does that have to do with whether this long analysis of voting patterns in previous conclaves belongs in an article on the 2005 conclave?--Transf1o 18:32, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Now that the Conclave has happened,the trimming down needs to take on a new phase...removing everything that looks forward to potentialities that didn't happen,and replacing where appropriate with references that look back at what was thought.(So since Ratzinger HAS been elected Pope,shall we expect Jtdirl/Fear to set himself up as Antipope since he just said above that Ratzinger was no more likely than he was?).--Louis E./

Bad formatting[edit]

Can we try to fix some of the formatting here? I'm seeing Wiki-code all over the place and it kinda ruins the article. --Saint-Paddy 15:43, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Voting Table[edit]

Should we have a table outlining the # of the vote, the time and day, and the color of the smoke? I think it would be much easier for people who have come here to see how the voting has gone so far.


1st Vote: 18:00 UTC April 18th Black Smoke - No Pope Elected

-- 18:41, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Be bold! Add it. --Oldak Quill 21:56, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's a good idea where it is (in the place properly reserved for the total number of ballots).Better to just keep updating the day-by-day section.--Louis E./ 23:47, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Isn't there a problem with such a table as illusatred above tho., considering the fact that it's always going to be black smoke until the very last one... ? -- KTC 00:00, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Differences in this conclave[edit]

There are a couple of differences between this conclave and previos ones that I think are worthy of a mention, but I can't see where to insert them into the current structure:

  • the thing about cardinals at previous conclaves sleeping on humble cots, and the 6'6" Basil Cardinal Hume complaining bitterly he couldn't sleep in a teeny bed, and now sleeping in the nice rooms JP2 built for the purpose. And I believe they get shipped from there back to the chapel in a bus.
  • the thing about the Sistine Chapel being fitted with cellphone jamming equipment (CNN).

-- John Fader (talk | contribs) 21:16, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Sistine Chapel[edit]

"For the first time in centuries during a conclave Michelangelo's Last Judgement and ceiling appeared in their full glory." This is an opinion, not shared by the many people who think the ceiling has been vandalised by its so-called restoration and now looks like a Disney cartoon. I won't remove the sentence but someone might like to have another go at it. Adam 23:56, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pretty hard to argue with since this is how it looked to M-angelo from the start, no? JDG 03:29, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That is also an opinion. No-one knows how it looked when it was first painted. There are plenty of people who say that the colours were intended to be muted. Adam 10:22, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

First day account[edit]

Considering that the cardinals are sequestered and can have no communication with the outside world under penalty of excommunication (hence the fumata business), it is rather odd that the account of the first day is written as if anyone outside the conclave knew for certain what happened and in what order, as opposed to what the official program (made available by whom to whom?) says should happen. I don't know what the source is, or I'd do it myself, but someone should add something to the effect that according to the plans previously made public by the Vatican [link to source]...

Miguel 15:21, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

Number of ballots[edit]

The article states 4 as the number of ballots so far, which is the minimum (1 last night, 2 this morning, one this afternoon) - but could it not be up to 6 (2 last night, 2 this morning, and 2 this afternoon). Keep in mind, the smoke was released very late last night, indicating 2 is very possible. Further, if there were two this afternoon there is only one smoke giving, thus no indication of an initial failure. --Oldak Quill 16:30, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Maybe I misunderstood the rules — I thought there would be one ballot, rather than 2, on the first day. Pakaran 16:33, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Can we wait maybe half an hour until it is clear how many ballots were held before the successful election, rather than reverting one another over this issue? Thanks. Pakaran 16:31, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

All the Italian sources [1] and [2] say it is the fourth ballot. --Panairjdde 16:32, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No body knows how many ballots there have been - they are burnt either one at a time or two at a time (if two in afternoon or morning). Remember, the conclave is entirely secret. If the new pope deems such, the results may never be known. --Oldak Quill 16:34, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You are wrong, since Navarro Vals said there would have been one or zero ballots yesterday (monday 18) and then 2+2 ballots the other days.--Panairjdde 16:38, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

BBC and other news sources say four ballots full stop. For us to speculate that they are wrong is original research. Let's say it was four ballots (or if people insist, say various media say four ballots) and then correct it later if it proves to be wrong but for us to contradict published reports that all agree with each other is original research and must be avoided. AndyL 16:41, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A translation from Corriere della Sera:

The conclave's first ballot took place yesterday afternoon, while this morning there were two more. This afternoon, the cardinals met at 16:00 (Rome time) to vote: since the white smoke started at 17:50, they have had time for a single ballot.
Four ballots. Alarm 16:43, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would say two hours is sufficient for a double ballot. Then, we do not know how long it would hav taken. --Oldak Quill 17:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
"I would say..."
Unfortunately we cannot cite you as a source. Unless any media express doubt on how many ballots there were or unless there are conflicting published reports we have to stay with four ballots. AndyL

The media report of 4 ballots is based on the schedule that was published by the Vatican. -- KTC 23:48, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Can you cite one source that says there may have been four ballots? IE one source published since the election, not something that you have used to make your own conclusions. If you can't cite a source that says "there may have been more than four ballots" or "there were five ballots" then you're engaging in original research. AndyL 01:28, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Erm, read my statement? When did I say "there may have been more than four ballots" or "there were five ballots"??? All I said was what I heard on BBC News 24 that "4 ballots is based on the schedule that was published by the Vatican." -- KTC 02:35, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Did you see how none of the electors came from countries starting with R? User:NazismIsntCool, being a Romanian expatriate, would have wanted there to be a Romanian pope. 23:29, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Votes Cast[edit]

There was a news commentator at the vatican who said he was given an indicative range of the votes by someone (assume it is either one of the cardinals who voted or someone close to them). Apparently this was done by them guessing a number and the person waving them to go up higher. Anyway it was much more than 77. Then now I read an aritcle where either the reporter is making it up or someone broke their oath.,,2089-1582550_1,00.html It says "In the first vote on Monday, Ratzinger received about 40 votes, while Carlo Maria Martini, an Italian, got more than 30. Others including Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Claudio Hummes of Brazil, and Dionigi Tettamanzi, another Italian, each received a handful." "Both Ratzinger and Bergoglio’s share of the vote increased in the two ballots held the next morning. Ratzinger reportedly won more than 50, with Bergoglio on 40." "In the ballot on Tuesday afternoon, however, Ratzinger obtained far more than the required two-thirds majority of 77 — although “under 100 votes”, according to another cardinal who broke his vow of silence over the conclave." Doesn't solve the problem of how many ballots there were but wonder if something published on the times online is sufficient to be added to the wiki page.

Very interesting, but statements like these would need all sorts of verification to even be mentioned responsibly in the article. The Times Online piece just rolls this stuff out, not even commenting on requests for anonymity or offering other witnesses to any of these statements. It's too purely hearsay at the moment for our article, unless you want to put it into a section called "Unsubstantiated Hearsay". JDG 22:55, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am not going to start such a section as I am relatively new to wikipedia. I did further digging and found more articles talking about the vote. One even claims that Ratzinger received 95 votes which was lower than his predecessor's 99 votes. Unfortunately it is hard to work out who the sources are. With respectable publications like The Times (UK) and TIME magazine. While I realise they have been known to sometimes be wrong about certain things, they tend to be a bit more careful about checking on facts before publishing. Some of the articles will disappear as they tend to go to an archive where you need to pay for access to it. Hence it is worth reading them now while it is still there. I guess the problem I have is how much of it is real fact or something woven by one or two of the press and spread within the press. After all those covering the conclave will no doubt be socialising together.

"The biblical scholar managed a good showing in the first round of balloting, but Ratzinger was already solidly ahead. The rest of the votes were spread among several Italians and, according to one voting Cardinal, several ballots were left blank. By evening, it was clear that no one was going to be able to step in for Martini. Not even Ratzinger's younger conservative rivals could put up a fight. Tettamanzi, bested in eloquence on his home turf, reportedly managed only two votes. "

"By Tuesday, Martini, who does not dislike Ratzinger personally, withdrew his candidacy and might have even thrown his support to him." "But the second balloting saw Ratzinger reach 60 votes. By the third, he was just shy of the 77 required for the papacy. By the fourth, he had won 95 out of 115."

"On the first conclave vote, Ratzinger reportedly got 40 votes and Martini got about the same. Argentina's Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, as well as Camilo Cardinal Ruini, the vicar of Rome, each got about a dozen. On the second ballot, Ruini's votes went for Ratzinger and his momentum started building. On the fourth ballot, he received 95 of the 115 votes."

"In the next ballot, on Tuesday morning, votes ran more heavily to Ratzinger, but he didn't get the 77 needed for the required two-thirds majority, according to several sources, including one cardinal. Ratzinger's support continued to grow in the second ballot that day, by some accounts reaching the margin of victory. But another source said he asked his brethren to come back after lunch for a fourth ballot because he wanted a more solid affirmation, something closer to the record 99 votes won by Karol Wojtyla, the future John Paul II, in October 1978."

Other articles:,0,7341318.story?coll=ny-worldnews-headlines

Linnah 18:37, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nice work, Linnah. Your links show that this info wasn't just cooked up by the Times Online alone. It could still be a case of jump journalism, but I think you have enough to incorporate it into the article, with appropriate qualifiers. JDG 03:23, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)


"Tens of thousands of people, waiting in St Peter's Square for the result, were quiet at the result and the reaction was very different from the first day." What was the reaction the first day? Doesn't seem to be present in the article. - user:defunkt 23:38, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

When it first came out, it wasn't very dark so people thought there was a Pope elected already and started rejoicing. Same goes for the morning of the second day, except this time actually made worse by the fact that the bell rang for noon I think. -- KTC 00:15, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As per eyewitness account of a priest interviewed on PBS, the first bells to ring after the smoke signal in question were the standard time-of-day bells, which are not the same as the "big bells" that did eventually ring to signify election. This happened (the ringing of the big bells, that is) no earlier than ten minutes after the smoke, even though officials had promised these signals would be "almost simultaneous". It's pretty safe to say the Vatican will be looking to further refine its performance next time...As for Defunkt's question above, the crowd in the Square was basically murmuring during the smoke, due to uncertainty. You would be wrong to attribute this to any sort of popular coolness to Ratzinger because 1) they didn't know at that point that Ratzinger was the choice, and 2) the crowd response when the new pope did appear at the balcony was quite deafening. JDG 05:02, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It appears that the delay with the bells was due to a mix-up. Someone was seen miming frantically the pulling of a bell rope from a window near the Sistine Chapel, according to one live broadcast I heard, but whomever was supposed to be watching for the signal wasn't paying attention for a couple of minutes. By the time the bells were finally rung, the guy miming the ringing to pass on the message had practically collapsed from exhaustion. Every heard of using mobile phones, or walkie-talkies, guys? :-) FearÉIREANN 04:35, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Dat's pretty funny. They should consider starting a Swiss Mime and Mime Response adjunct to the Swiss Knights. You have Italians doing these things and this is what you get. Guy was probably checking out babes with binoculars in the Square. JDG 14:27, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Would it be possible to throw in a table with all the conclave stats like I've seen in the other conclave articles?

This comment was made by User: - KTC

Angelo Sodano[edit]

Assuming that Angelo Cardinal Sodano (then vice-dean of the College of Cardinals), performed the duty of asking Cardinal/Pope-elect Ratzinger (dean of the College of Cardinals), if he'd accepted his election as Pope (Cardinal-Dean Ratzinger as Pope-elect couldn't perform this duty). I wunder, should this be mention in the Article? I've got a similar question in Talk: Pope Benedict XVI. GoodDay 02:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Speculation article mostly dealt with[edit]

I've moved the speculation article to Talk:Papal conclave, 2005/Speculation about the papal conclave, 2005. Most of the content has been moved into this or other articles. Perhaps some more of the information could be useful to editors wishing to work on this topic, but very little (if any) of the remaining information is suitable to be moved directly into this article without appropriate sourcing and rewriting. Savidan 01:34, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Link broken?[edit]

Even after several tries the link doesn't work. Maybe removing it should be considered. (talk) 22:58, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

first this article is utter rubbish and needs a megaimprovement with soruces (foreign lagunages (ie- Finnish) are fine too)

Secondly, propose a page move to be consistent tih the country ie Holy See general election, 2005 or Holy See presidential election, 2005 or Holy See papal election, 2005(Lihaas (talk) 19:26, 22 April 2011 (UTC)).

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