教宗选举的方式被包含在历任教宗的宗徒宪章：教宗额我略十五世的 Æterni Patris Filius and Decet Romanum Pontificem, 教宗乌尔巴诺八世的Ad Romani Pontificis Providentiam, 以及教宗若望·保禄二世的Universi Dominici Gregis（1996）中。在《主的普世羊群》Universi Dominici Gregis中，三种教宗选举的方式被认定为有效：：秘密投票（by scrutiny），妥协（by compromise）, 一致欢呼（by acclamation）。一致欢呼的方式要求全体在场的选举人一致同意一位候选人成为教宗，而不需要正式的投票过程。正因这种方式不需要事先磋商和会议，被看作是圣神推动了这一过程，也被称作“quasi-inspiration”。
|236||法比盎||"...and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter."
|731||额我略三世||"the Romans elected him pope by acclamation, when he was accompanying the funeral procession of his predecessor"
|1073||额我略七世||On the death of Alexander II (April 21, 1073), as the obsequies were being performed in the Lateran basilica, there arose a loud outcry from the whole multitude of clergy and people: "Let Hildebrand be pope!", "Blessed Peter has chosen Hildebrand the Archdeacon!" Later, on the same day, Hildebrand was conducted to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, and there elected in legal form by the assembled cardinals, with the due consent of the Roman clergy and amid the repeated acclamations of the people.
|1670||克雷芒十世||The election is said to have been determined by the sudden cry of the people outside the conclave, "Altieri Papa", which was confirmed by the cardinals.
|1676||诺森十一世||The cardinals surrounded him in the chapel of the conclave and in spite of his resistance every one of them kissed his hand, proclaiming him Pope.
- ^ 1.0 1.1 Universi Dominici Gregis on the vacancy of the apostolic see and the election of the roman pontiff
- ^ Each ballot paper was divided into three parts; in the first was written the cardinal's name, in the second the name of the individual voted for, and in the third a motto of the cardinal's choice and the number of votes taken so far. The first and third divisions were folded down and sealed with wax, with the middle exposed; the back was heavily decorated so that the writing would not be visible (see illustration above). Thus, when the scrutineers (the vote counters) removed a ballot paper from the box, they could see only the name of the candidate selected. If a cardinal, present and voting, received exactly two-thirds of the votes cast, the ballot papers were unsealed, one by one, as to motto and number until the scrutineers located that cardinal's own vote and then the signature portion of that ballot only was opened to verify that the chosen cardinal did not vote for himself. No rounding was done until Pope John XXIII added that rule in 1962. For example, it is said that in 1939, Pius XII received 40 votes out of 62 on the second ballot. This meant he was elected, provided he had not voted for himself, and the opening of his ballot showed that he did not. It is reputed that he asked for an additional vote to confirm his election, since he did not want any chance of schism caused by his serving as nuncio to the Nazi regime. On the additional ballot he is said to have received every vote but his own. As papal elections are held in the strictest secrecy, with the threat of excommunication for revealing any information as to what occurred, the number of votes cast for Pius XII is speculative as is the story of a confirmation vote. Modern ballots differ from the complicated older ballots, in that the cardinals do not write anything other than the name of the individual for whom they are voting; furthermore, ballots are folded but once and not sealed with wax. This change in procedure has resulted in all the successors of Pius XII being chosen by a process that includes anonymous oaths on the part of the electors, and a cardinal may vote for himself, which was allowed prior to 1621. However, prior to 1621, a cardinal did not take an oath when he cast his ballot, even if that ballot was secret. The cardinals voted before the election whether to use secret paper ballots, to vote verbally, or use the other methods of compromise or acclamation. The option of the body of electors to choose verbal voting was ended in 1621.
- ^ Pope changes rules for electing successor NEWS.com.au
- ^ Meier, Gabriel. "Pope St. Fabian." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 19 Jan. 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05742d.htm>.
- ^ Laska, Vera. (2005). Review of The Great Popes through History: An Encyclopedia, 2 Vols. International Journal on World Peace.
- ^ "Pope St. Gregory III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.