In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has an interesting post on Canonical Rules on the Resignation of a Pontiff, and the Election of a New Pontiff (part 1 of 2 posted yesterday).
It is written by by Dante Figueroa, Senior Legal Information Analyst at the Law Library of Congress:
Since the last papal resignation was nearly 600 years ago, this month’s announcement took the world by surprise and resulted in many questions. I will address several of the most important juridical questions arising from Pope Benedict’s resignation, for which there are responses in current Canon law, as well as other questions for which there are no canonical rules or precedents.
Some of those questions are:
- To whom does the Pontiff present his resignation?
- What title will the outgoing Pontiff have?
- What role will former Pope Benedict have in the government of the Holy See?
- Who administers the Holy See in the interregnum (between the Papal resignation and the assumption of the new Supreme Pontiff)?
- What administrative acts may be carried out during the Sede Vacante [vacancy], and who may order or supervise them?
The next post by Figueroa will explain the canonical rules governing the election of the future Pope.