Not always under Lock and Key
History of the Election of Popes
Msgr. Laurence J. Spiteri, JCD PhD
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The Purpose of this publication is to trace the intriguing history of papal elections. As is clearly documented here the history of the election of Popes has not always been a happy event, but it has always been an exciting one for a variety of reasons. It is full of fascination, conjecture, extraordinary expectations, fear, violence, secular politics, power struggles, personal and family ambitions, and so forth. There is one thing constant in the history of papal elections: whether or not the electors of Popes cooperate with Divine Providence or not, the Holy Spirit ensures that the Church established by Jesus Christ on the rock of Peter continues to survive until the Lord's return at the en of time. The history of papal elections, like the history of the Church itself, is not based on secular footing for unlike the history of nations, its history is guarded by the Lord's promise to Peter: "I will be with you until the end of time." The narrative of the history of how men have come to ascend the Office of Peter down through the ages to the present day is set forth in fascinating detail in the present volume.
About the Author: Monsignor Laurence J. Spiteri, JCD, PhD, a priest of the archdiocese of Los Angeles is the author of the widely acclaimed 5-volume history of the Catholic Church entitled: At Your Fingertips. Among his many other titles are to be included: The Ten Commandments: A Positive Approach toward Catholic Morality, Lifestyle and Attitude (2007) and The Code in the Hands of the Laity: Canon Law for Everyone (1997). He was one of the contributors to the book, A Priest for All Liturgical Seasons (2009), and is the translator into English of the very fine work of Cardinal Pierre Philippe, The Virgin Mary and the Priesthood (1993), all published by ST PAULS. He is the CEO/Chaplain of The Sanctuary of Culture Foundation, an entity established and approved to further the mission of the Vatican Apostolic Library by both Popes: Benedict XVI and Francis. Presently he is in charge of the legal office of the Vatican Apostolic Library and a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Rome See. In addition, he is a Consultant-Historian for the Congregation for Saints.