Pope rubbishes lay conclave vote rumours in new book

Pope rubbishes lay conclave vote rumours in new book

Pope Francis has shot down claims that he is planning giving women and laity a say in the vote to elect a pope.

Speaking in his recently released biography Life, the Pope described as “fantasy” reports from “some American media outlets” that he intended to change the rules around the conclave to give nuns and laity a vote in the papal election.

“But this was fantasy, obviously invented and circulated to create bad feeling within the Church and disorientation among the Faithful,” Pope Francis said.

Catholic news outlet The Pillar reported in November last year that Pope Francis had delegated Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda to develop draft revisions to the papal election process, in light of the approach to dialogue used during the synod on synodality.

The proposed changes included limiting attendance to cardinals eligible to vote and limiting the opportunity for speeches to the whole College of Cardinals, The Pillar reported.

Around the same time, newsite The Remnant reported that the Pope planned to have laity and women religious comprise 25% of the vote.

At the time, Cardinal Ghirlanda described the reports as “absolutely false” in statements provided to media outlets, while the Holy See press office issued a statement saying the reports “have no basis”.