How Is the Pope "Elected?"
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The election of the Pope remains the longest continuous election in the world spanning over two millennia. It also stands as one of the world’s greatest electoral spectacles steeped in faith, tradition, and mystery.

Technically, any male in the world could be called to the position of Pope. While this very unlikely to occur, canon law does allow it. Additionally, in the slim chance that the College of Cardinals ever become extinct, the duty of choosing the pope would fall on the remaining Roman Catholic clergy, and then upon the general laity – just as it was in the early days of Christianity.

Finally, no one can say for sure what occurs in the conclave, but one thing remains certain: The Pope acts as the leader of over 1 billion believers across every national border, language, and time zone.

Encyclopedia Brittanica (1988)
New American Bible, St. Joseph Medium Size Edition, Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York, N.Y. (1992).