Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Papal Election Research Guide

This guide lists and describes sources for researching the law of papal elections.

Papabili - Leading Contenders to be Elected Pope

Though the pope has been selected from amongst a group of cardinals since the 1300s (Pope Urban VI in 1378 was the last pope elected from outside the College of Cardinals. The last person elected as pope who was not already an ordained priest or monk was Pope Leo X in 1513.),theoretically, the only formal requirements for being elected are that the candidate be a single male of good standing within the Catholic church (see the UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS, No.s 83, 88, 89, and 90 for the only guidance on who may be elected as pope). Sadly, that means this young applicant, while apparently single and male, is inelligble because he is not Catholic. Better luck next time, sir.

Below is a list of some of the front-runners for the papacy. It should be noted that there have been several recent popes who were not considered to be among the papabili, including both John Paul I and John Paul II.

For those who like to indulge in fantasy football and the like, perhaps you'd enjoy playingFantasyPope?