16 February 2013

The Papacy: Some Statistics

The average age of a Pope at their election is 63.5 years old. The average age at the end of their reign is 73.2 years old. That gives an average reign of 9.7 years. The average reign since the very beginning is roughly 7.5 years.

Benedict XVI was 78.0 at his election and his reign will be 7.9 years long.

Young follows Old
There is a distinct pattern of the election of a younger Pope following an older Pope (at election), and vice versa - but their are also exceptions. Here is a chart showing the differences (warning: PDF).

The average difference of the age at election of one Pope compared to the age at election of his predecessor is 10.8 years (median is 11.2).

The biggest differences were -25.0 years (Clement XI following Innocent XII) and +27.0 years (Callistus III following Nicholas V). Benedict XVI was 19.6 years older than John Paul II.

The smallest difference was Clemenet XIII following Benedict XIV - an age difference of only a few weeks (-0.1 years).

Because I know someone will ask, based _purely_ on the averages given above, the closest fit would be Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera who would be 10.6 years younger than Benedict XVI was at his election.

Young follows Old (older only)
Since Benedict XVI was elected at an older age than most, I wanted to look at the same stats, but only including the oldest 10 (Benedict XVI included).

Their average age at election was 77.0 (vs Benedict XVI's 78.0). The low was 72.3 and the high was 79.8 years old.

The average age of their successors was 63.5. The low was 51.3 and the high was 78.3 years old.

That yields a difference, on average, of -13.5 years.

Again, based _purely_ on the averages, the closest fit would be Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson.

Service as a Cardinal
Most Popes have been Cardinals first, although it is not a requirement.

The shortest length of time as a Cardinal before being elected Pope was Nicholas V at 0.3 years. The longest was Benedict XIII at 52.3 years. The average is 14.3 years. (Benedict XVI served as one for 27.8 years.)

Again, purely based on the average above, the next pope might be one of the cardinals that was created in the consistory on 21 Feb 2001. (17 of those created that day will be electors in the conclave.)

Service as Priest and Bishop
Most Popes have been Priests and Bishops first, although it is not a requirement.

The average is 32.6 years as a priest and 19.1 years as a bishop when they are elected Pope.

All of the information above is based on Popes from 1450 to today (and include the anticipated resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013), unless it explicitly states otherwise.

Cardinals per Pope (updated)

I've updated the Cardinals per Pope chart. (warning: PDF)

The chart is dated today, but the numbers are based on Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming resignation.

Here  are some of the raw numbers:
  • Pope Benedict XVI: Cardinals 90; Years 7.9; Average: 11.39 (highest since at least 1450).
  • The previous high was Pope John XXIII with 52 Cardinals in 4.6 years for an average of 11.30.
  • Since Pope Nicholas V (1447): 2,424 Cardinal created in 558 years of Papal service for an average of 4.34 per year.

12 February 2013

Conclave 2013: notes (part 2)

I've created a nice summary page with information on the 2013 Conclave. For obvious reason, there are lots of unknowns at this point.

I'll continue to update it as things progress.  Conclave - 2013

11 February 2013

Conclave 2013: notes (part 1)

Assuming no Cardinals die before the Conclave, here is some data:
  • 117 Cardinal Electors (of 209 living)
  • 78 votes are required for election (2/3rds) [UDG #62]
  • 51 of the 117 electors were named by Pope John Paul II, the remaining 66 were named by Pope Benedict XVI
  • of the 10 Cardinal-Bishops, only 4 are electors:
    1. Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re, of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto
    2. Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Cardinal Bertone, S.D.B, of Frascati, Secretary of State, Chamberlain (Camerlengo)
    3. Antonios Cardinal Naguib, Coptic Patriarch Emeritus
    4. Béchara Boutros Cardinal Raï, O.M.M., Maronite Patriarch
  • Since both the Dean and Vice-Dean (Subdean) are over 80, they can not enter the Conclave. The senior Cardinal Bishop will be Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re
While no information on the date of the Conclave has been provided, we have some idea from UDG. The Pope indicated his resignation was effective on 28 February 2013 at 8pm (local time, Rome). According to UDG #37, the Conclave could start as early as the night of 15 March or as late as the night of 20 March.

I suspect that it will begin on either Saturday 16 March or Monday 18 March.

The length, of course, is not knowable.  Recent Conclaves have tended to be fairly short - usually a few days.

That would suggest that a new Pope is possible by the Solemnity of St. Joseph (19 March), likely before Palm Sunday (24 March), and almost certainly by Easter (31 March).