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Lateran IV

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  • CANON 24
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CANON 24

SUMMARY. Three forms or methods of election are recognized: the normal one by ballot, by compromise, and by quasi-inspiration. No one may vote by proxy.

Text. Since, on account of the different forms of elections which some endeavor to employ, many impediments arise and great danger threatens the widowed churches, we decree that when an election is to take place and all are present who ought, wish, and are able tobe present, let three trustworthy members of the assembly be chosen who shall with care collect secretly and one by one the votes of all; and when these have been written down, he is to be considered elected who has obtained all or the majority of the votes of the chapter, absolutely no appeal being allowed. Or the authority of making the choice may be entrusted to some confidential persons, who in the place of all may provide a pastor for the widowed church. An election in any other form is not valid, unless perchance there is absolute unanimity among the electors, as if by divine inspiration. Whoever shall attempt to hold an election contrary to the aforesaid forms, shall for this time be deprived of his vote. We absolutely forbid that anyone appoint a representative in the matter of an election (that is, vote by proxy), unless he be canonically impeded and cannot come, in which case, if need be, let him declare himself to that effect on oath, and then he may choose one of his colleagues at the assembly to represent him. We also disapprove of clandestine elections, and decree that as soon as an election has it must be solemnly made public.




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