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Picking Popes: Conclaves

  • Associate Professor of History, Kean University
3 Lectures (1 DVDs or 2 CDs) Including Electronic Study Guide
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  1. conclaves-popes Bundle: Picking Popes: Conclaves + Benedict XVI: Theologian and Preacher - 7 CDs Total $39.95
  2. conclaves-popes Bundle: 2,000 Years of Papal History + Picking Popes: Conclaves - 15 CDs Total $69.95
  3. conclaves-popes Video Bundle: The History of the Catholic Church: Tradition and Innovation + Picking Popes: Conclaves - 9 DVDs Total $84.95

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The election of a pope doesn’t happen often, but when it does, the whole world—believers and non-believers, media commentators and Vatican watchers alike—stops to watch. The first question is: what happens now? The answer is surprisingly straightforward: there is a system in place that is followed step by step.

But then the questions tumble one after the other: Why do the cardinals have the exclusive right to pick the popes? How did the “bad” Renaissance Medicis get chosen? What were the longest and shortest conclaves? If everything is supposed to be so secretive, how do we know so much about past conclaves—or is this just rumor and gossip, propaganda and punditry? Can a pope be deposed? Have any resigned or been assassinated? What if a pope becomes incapacitated—who’s in charge then?

This concise, three-segment series by award-winning Catholic historian Christopher Bellitto is designed to thoughtfully answer your questions.

Here, in Picking Popes, Dr. Bellitto reviews the colorful history of picking popes, conclaves, and cardinals. You’ll find plenty of anecdotes and analyses from a history professor who works with the media during papal transitions. Find answers to both common and troubling questions. These answers will help reveal one of the most intriguing tasks of the world’s oldest and longest-surviving monarchy—the papacy—which, surprisingly, is led by a man who is voted into power by his peers.

We recommend the video version of this series, given its rich imagining and Professor Bellitto’s dynamic teaching style.

Learn about downloadable programs.

Your Free Electronic Study Guide! When you order this course, we will send you a free electronic study guide that you can access in 3 convenient ways:

1) You can check your order confirmation email. It will include a link that enables you to download your guide.
2) The back of your program package also contains a copy of this link. You can access your guide by simply entering this URL into your browser.
3) Your case of CDs or DVDs will contain a copy of your electronic guide on CD. Simply insert this disc into your computer's CD/DVD drive to access your guide.

Topic Titles
Topic Titles
  • What Happens When a Pope Dies?
  • Conclaves and Cardinals: A History
  • Difficult Questions
About Your Presenter

Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto, Ph.D., is an award-winning historian and Professor of History at Kean University in New Jersey. He received a Ph.D. in History from Fordham University. He is the author of ten books and the co-editor of six others; his writing has been honored by the American Catholic Historical Association and the Catholic Press Association. A frequent public speaker and media commentator on Church history and contemporary Catholicism, he has appeared on the History and Travel channels, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and other radio and television stations. He has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and is on the Fulbright Specialist Roster.

Dr. Bellitto’s books include Ageless Wisdom: Lifetime Lessons from the Bible (Paulist Press, 2016), 101 Questions and Answers on Popes and the Papacy (Paulist Press, 2008), The Living Church and Church History 101 (Liguori Publications, 2011, 2008), and the companion volumes Renewing Christianity: A History of Church Reform from Day One to Vatican II and The General Councils: A History of the 21 Church Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II (Paulist Press,...

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Customer Reviews (0)
Well worth viewing
I really enjoyed these three lectures. Professor Bellitto presents the material in an engaging manner. I expected a dull pedantic presentation. I was delighted by his engaging style. A few charts, maps & photos would have added somewhat to the presentation. I intend to use it for a three week adult Ed program at my parish this fall.
Review by Deacon Pat (Posted on 6/2/2012)
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