Friday, April 08, 2005

Non habemus Papam:

Sede vacante Posted by Hello

As I suspected it would, the death of Pope John Paul II hit me hard. I'm not sure why, since I am an errant Catholic, but he seems to have attracted many in that way. I dug out a set of rosaries he blessed while I was at the Vatican in December of 1993, and I have been carrying them around in my pocket. And no, I didn't get an audience with His Holiness - he blessed the rosaries as I held them out above my head among the large crowd in St. Peter's Square (Catholics count such things as legitimate blessings), and then took them back to my mother, who was dying at the time.

In creating the following table, I was trying to figure out how long conclaves have lasted, what the lengths of the interregnums between Popes have been, and what the lengths of papal reigns have been. Well, of course, it wasn't that simple.

First was finding a listing of Popes - since the Papacy extends back nearly 2000 years, there are several different lists, and they differ in agreeing who was and was not a Pope. The two 'best' lists I found were at and in the wikipedia papal list (I suspect the wiki author(s) used as a source, which yields the good agreement - I have posted discussions of this dangerous sampling tactic before). The Vatican website, surprisingly, has very little covering this set of basic facts (in any language - I looked, they all go back only to Leo XIII).

The second issue was that the listing did not have dates, and the article under each of the links for the Popes did not consistently give dates for birth, death, election or the beginning dates of the electing or following conclaves, even for recent Popes. The first of my questions, "what have lengths of conclaves been?" had to be abandoned due to lack of (quickly available) data. There is a good set of articles on the more recent conclaves at wikipedia, and a listing of conclaves at Salvador Miranda's site.

The other questions, the length of interregnums and reigns, quickly ran into problems for several reasons. Although the Wiki site has dates listed by each Pope's name, I was not sure of several things: was the start date the election or the coronation? (the definition of when the elected person becomes Pope has changed with time). There are also some overlapping dates - the death of a Pope post-dates the election/corontaion of the next. Are these abdications and/or resignations? I did not go back to check these cases.

The most fundamental question revolved around the dates themselves: for dates before 1752, I was not sure whether the stated dates were using the Gregorian, proleptic Gregorian, or Julian calendars. Also, since 1752 was the year the U.K. and its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, and the events were occurring in Rome, which had dropped the Julian calendar during Gregory XIII's reign in 1572, what about the dates between 1572 and 1752? Under which calendar were they stated? And of course, the exact dates get very hazy as one goes further back, and there are cases of second or even third terms after depositions/revolutions. etc. I decided only to take this list back to Popes since the year 1000.

To top it all off, Excel cannot handle dates before 1900 (1903 on a Mac) without special add-in functions, so calculations for these pre-1900 dates were impossible until I hunted down free extended date add-in functions (which, incidentally, do not properly account for the fact that 14 September 1752 was the day after 2 September 1752, in the U.K. at least).

So, with the above caveats, here is the table:

PopeLength of ReignDate of DeathLength of FOLLOWING interregnumDate of Election
John Paul II (the Great)9,6652-Apr-200516-Oct-1978
John Paul I3328-Sep-19781826-Aug-1978
Paul VI5,5256-Aug-19782021-Jun-1963
John XXIII1,6793-Jun-19631828-Oct-1958
Pius XII7,1619-Oct-1958192-Mar-1939
Pius XI6,21310-Feb-1939206-Feb-1922
Benedict XV2,69822-Jan-1922153-Sep-1914
Pius X4,03420-Aug-1914144-Aug-1903
Leo XIII9,28020-Jul-19031520-Feb-1878
Pius IX11,5597-Feb-18781316-Jun-1846
Gregory XVI5,6069-Jun-184672-Feb-1831
Pius VIII6101-Dec-18306331-Mar-1829
Leo XII1,96210-Feb-18294928-Sep-1823
Pius VII8,55920-Aug-18233914-Mar-1800
Pius VI8,96129-Aug-179919715-Feb-1775
Clement XIV1,95322-Sep-177414618-May-1769
Clement XIII3,8642-Feb-17691056-Jul-1758
Benedict XIV6,4683-May-17586417-Aug-1740
Adoption of Gregorian calendar in the U.K. and its colonies
Clement XII3,4966-Feb-174019312-Jul-1730
Benedict XIII2,09621-Feb-173014127-May-1724
Innocent XIII1,0347-Mar-1724818-May-1721
Clement XI7,42119-Mar-17215023-Nov-1700
Innocent XII3,36427-Sep-17005712-July-1691
Alexander VIII4831-Feb-16911616-Oct-1689
Innocent XI4,70711-aug-16895621-Sep-1676
Clement X2,27622-jul-16766129-Apr-1670
Clement IX9039-dec-166914120-Jun-1667
Alexander VII4,42822-may-1667297-apr-1655
Innocent X3,7657-jan-16559016-sep-1644
Urban VIII7,66329-jul-1644496-aug-1623
Gregory XV8743-jul-1623349-feb-1621
Paul V5,73628-jan-16211216-may-1605
Leo XI1112-apr-1605341-apr-1605
Clement VIII4,7813-mar-16052930-jan-1592
Innocent IX6230-dec-15913129-oct-1591
Gregory XIV31415-oct-1591145-dec-1590
Urban VII1227-sep-15906915-sep-1590
Sixtus V1,95127-aug-15901924-apr-1585
Gregory XIII4,71510-apr-15851413-may-1572
Julian calendar dropped by the church
St. Pius V2,3061-may-1572127-jan-1566
Pius IV2,1769-dec-15652925-dec-1559
Paul IV1,54818-aug-155912923-may-1555
Marcellus II221-may-1555229-apr-1555
Julius III1,87023-mar-1555177-feb-1550
Paul III5,50710-nov-15498913-oct-1534
Clement VII3,95625-sep-15341826-nov-1523
Adrian VI40114-feb-15232859-jan-1522
Leo X3,1891-dec-1521399-mar-1513
Julius II3,40121-feb-15131631-oct-1503
Pius III2618-oct-15031322-sep-1503
Alexander VI4,02318-aug-15033511-aug-1492
Innocent VIII2,88725-jul-14921729-aug-1484
Sixtus IV4,75212-aug-1484179-aug-1471
Paul II2,52126-jul-14711430-aug-1464
Pius II2,18815-aug-14641519-aug-1458
Callistus III1,2166-aug-1458138-apr-1455
Nicholas V2,94024-mar-1455156-mar-1447
Eugene IV5,83623-feb-1447113-mar-1431
Martin V4,84920-feb-14311111-nov-1417
Gregory XII3,1384-jul-141586130-nov-1406
Innocent VII7506-nov-14062417-oct-1404
Boniface IX5,4461-oct-1404162-nov-1389
Urban VI4,20815-oct-1389188-apr-1378
Gregory XI2,64326-mar-13781330-dec-1370
Blessed Urban V3,00419-dec-13701128-sep-1362
Innocent VI3,55512-sep-13621618-dec-1352
Clement VI3,8666-dec-1352127-may-1342
Benedict XII2,68325-apr-13421220-dec-1334
John XXII6,6934-dec-1334167-aug-1316
Clement V3,21120-apr-13148405-jul-1305
Blessed Benedict XI2597-jul-130436322-oct-1303
Boniface VIII3,21211-oct-13031124-dec-1294
St. Celestine V16113-dec-1294115-jul-1294
Nicholas IV1,5034-apr-129282222-feb-1288
Honorius IV7313-apr-12873252-apr-1285
Martin IV1,49528-mar-1285522-feb-1281
Nicholas III1,00122-aug-128018425-nov-1277
John XXI25420-may-12771898-sep-1276
Adrian V3818-aug-12762111-jul-1276
Blessed Innocent V15322-jun-12761921-jan-1276
Blessed Gregory X1,59210-jan-1276111-sep-1271
Clement IV1,39329-nov-12681,0065-feb-1265
Urban IV1,1302-oct-126412629-aug-1261
Alexander IV2,35625-may-12619612-dec-1254
Innocent IV4,20327-dec-1254-15 (?)25-jun-1243
Celestine IV1610-nov-124159225-oct-1241
Gregory IX5,27022-aug-12416419-mar-1227
Honorius III3,89518-mar-1227118-jul-1216
Innocent III6,76416-jul-121628-jan-1198
Celestine III2,4768-jan-11980 (?)30-mar-1191
Clement III1,19427-mar-1191319-dec-1187
Gregory VIII5717-dec-1187221-oct-1187
Urban III69319-oct-1187225-nov-1185
Lucius III1,48525-sep-1185611-sep-1181
Alexander III8,02830-aug-118127-sep-1159
Adrian IV1,7321-sep-115964-dec-1154
Anastasius IV21815-feb-115429212-jul-1153
Blessed Eugene III3,0658-jul-1153415-feb-1145
Lucius II36815-mar-1145-28 (?)12-mar-1144
Celestine II1648-mar-1144426-sep-1143
Innocent II4,97024-sep-1143214-feb-1130
Honorius II1,88613-feb-1130115-dec-1124
Callistus II2,14113-dec-112422-feb-1119
Gelasius II36928-jan-1119524-jan-1118
Paschal II6,73521-jan-1118313-aug-1099
Blessed Urban II4,15629-jul-10991512-mar-1088
Blessed Victor III47616-sep-108717828-may-1086
St. Gregory VII4,42029-may-108536422-apr-1073
Alexander II4,22121-apr-1073130-sep-1061
Nicholas II96427-jul-1061656-dec-1058
Stephen X23929-mar-10582522-aug-1057
Victor II83728-jul-1057513-apr-1055
St. Leo IX1,89219-apr-105435912-feb-1049
Damasus II239-aug-104818717-jul-1048

The average papal reign over the last 1,000 years: 2,973 days.

The average interregnum: 93 days.


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