Complete the quiz to show what you have learned about this topic. For each question, select an answer and then check to see if you're correct. Some are multiple choice, others are write-in.

1. Who is responsible for electing the new Pope?

  • Dean of Cardinals
  • The three highest-ranking Cardinals
  • The members of the Catholic Church
  • College of Cardinals

No hints!

Explanation: The new Pope is chosen from the College of Cardinals by the Cardinals themselves. In a secret meeting, called a Conclave, they choose one of their own to fill the vacancy of the Holy See.

2. Where do Papal Elections take place?

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Papal Palace
  • St. Peter's Square
  • Vatican Rose Garden

No hints!

Explanation: Meeting in the Sistine Chapel, the College of Cardinals traditionally uses secret ballots to choose the new pontiff. There have been times when the elections were conducted by the cardinals saying their choice out loud, but this is a rare occurrence.

3. At what age are Cardinals excluded from participating in the electoral process?

  • 90
  • 75
  • 80
  • 70

No hints!

Explanation: In 1975, Pope Paul VI decreed that no Cardinal over the age of 80 was eligible to participate in papal elections. He made this rule in an addendum to the Church's Constitution entitled "Romano Pontifico Eligendo".

4. What colour of smoke rises from the chapel's chimney once a new Pope has been chosen?

No hints!

Explanation During each election, the Cardinals write the name of their candidate on paper ballots. After each election, the ballots are burned. If a new Pope has not been chosen, straw is burned with the ballots in order to create black smoke. If a decision has been made, the paper is treated so that it will burn white. At this point, the world knows that a new Pope has been chosen.