Popes develop a tradition of appointing their successors

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by acgoldis, May 15, 2018.

  1. acgoldis Earthling

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    What would have happened if popes were given the opportunity to appoint their successors? The papacy can't be hereditary because the pope is celibate, but adoption is a possibility here (and Caesar adopted Octavian after all).

    We would assume that the cardinals had to meet at some point to confirm the candidate (though whether by a majority or 2/3 supermajority is up for debate).

    A conclave would only be called if a pope died without nominating a successor (or if the successor were no longer alive at the time the pope abdicated or died)
     
  2. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    Cesare Borgia says hi and wishes to express his interest in your proposal. ;)
     
  3. Trackah the Uchronaut

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    The first few were appointed (or at least recommended) by the previous pope before death.
     
  4. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    Why did they change this then? Was some pope killed by persecution before he had appointed a successor?
     
  5. Trackah the Uchronaut

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    A big reason was to keep secular authorities from influencing the next pope, it is a lot harder to influence a large group of electors than it is one person. Though obviously this didn't always work. I'm sure there are other I just don't know the specifics of them.
     
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  6. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    There might be then risk that there will be long reigning papal dynasties when pope would appoint his nephew as his successor, no matter how cabable he would be.
     
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  7. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    There's also the fact that the early Church was a lot more factional than may appear. Allowing input and compromise candidates kept it from schisming so much.
     
  8. Trackah the Uchronaut

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    and it was a lot harder to get enough people together to have a vote for various reason...