Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections
Since the early seventeenth century, whenever a pope has died, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have convened in Rome behind locked doors ... Show synopsis Since the early seventeenth century, whenever a pope has died, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have convened in Rome behind locked doors to elect a successor--and all eyes focus on The Eternal City. The Papal Conclave is an event like no other. Highly secretive and conducted behind the doors of the Sistine Chapel, it happens only a few times every century. Cardinals meet en masse in their scarlet robes. Throngs of the faithful stand watch in St. Peter's Square. Finally, white smoke billows from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel signaling the election of a new pontiff. In "Behind Locked Doors," Frederic J. Baumgartner evokes the high drama of this event while simultaneously providing a comprehensive and rigorous history of the papal elections. "Behind Locked Doors "is a fascinating look at the death of popes and the centuries-old transfer of Vatican power from one man to the next.