GC 35 Update: The Election Procedures

From the latest communique from the General Congregation Press Office, come the details of the election and installation of the General: "After four days of praying, reflecting and consulting among themselves, the 217 electors of the 35 General Congregation are ready to vote for a new Superior General on January 19. The day will begin at 8:00 with the concelebrated Mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit which is across the Curia. At 9:30 the electors will convene in the aula, recite the Veni Creator Spiritus, listen to an exhortation by Father Jacques Gellard, Assistant ad providentiam, and continue in personal prayer for the rest of an hour. As prescribed by the Formula, each elector writes in his own hand, on the ballot he has received, the name of the one whom he chooses to be Superior General. After the ballots have been completed, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the Secretary of the Congregation, Father Orlando Torres and his Assistant, Father Ignacio Echarte swear to God and in the presence of the electors to perform faithfully the duties of receiving and making public the votes. The votes are then collected and counted. The one who receives a simple majority of 109 votes is considered elected. The name of the one elected is immediately communicated to the Holy Father. The Secretary of the Congregation handwrites the Decretum of election which is signed by Father Kolvenbach. Father Kolvenbach reads the Decretum in Latin: Ego Peter-Hans Kolvenbach S.J., auctoritate Sedis Apostolicae et universae Societatis, Reverendum Patrem N...declaro electum in Praepositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. ("I declare Father N...elected as General of the Society of Jesus, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"). The newly elected General turns to the crucifix which has been placed in the center of the aula, and makes his profession of faith: I, N... firmly believe all and each of the truths contained in the Symbol of the faith. And proceeds to read the Creed. At this point, all the electors, beginning with Father Kolvenbach, the Secretary and his Assistant, come forward to greet the new Superior General. When all the electors have greeted the new General the doors of the aula are opened and the Curia community greets Father General. The election ends with a procession to the chapel for a short prayer of thanksgiving." (Photo of the Jesuit Curia by Don Doll, S.J.) James Martin, S.J.
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