How Popes Are Elected
When a Pope dies,1 the "Cardinal Camerlengo" (Cardinal Chamberlain, known as the "Camerarius" in Latin) first verifies the death. Traditionally, this is done by striking the Pope's forehead gently thrice with a silver hammer while asking him, using his Baptismal name, if he is dead, e.g., "Karol Wojtyla, are you dead?" When there is no response from the dead Pope, the Camerlengo solemnly announces his death and removes the Fisherman's ring from the dead Pope's finger. This ring, along with the papal seal, are broken, and the Pope's bedroom and study are sealed up. …
- How Popes Are Elected
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