Originally Posted by Archangel Michael
Basically a what if question.
My question is lets say all the cardinals have gathered in Rome and are about to elect a new pope and the vatican is attacked and destroyed along with all the Cardinals.( God forbid that this would happen).
My question is, how would the church elect a new pope if there are no cardinals left alive after such an attack.
The rule that only Cardinals may elect a Pope is just a rule. No mere rule is binding when grave circumstances intervene. The Bishops are the successors to the Apostles, so -- as a hypothetical, in a case of grave necessity -- the Bishops could elect a Pope.