Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni also denied knowledge of such a document in a statement to CNA Nov. 6.
The Remnant also reported Nov. 4 that Pope Francis is considering a proposal by Ghirlanda to allow laypeople to participate in the conclave, including the vote for a new pope.
The Pillar, citing “a senior canon lawyer close to the Vatican,” reported that knowledge of the process to reform conclaves “is widespread in Vatican canonical circles, as is the role of Cardinal Ghirlanda.”
General congregations are preparatory meetings of the College of Cardinals held every day before the start of the election. They are a time for cardinals to familiarize themselves with the regulations concerning conclaves and, according to the norms in force, to “express their views on possible problems, ask for explanations in case of doubt, and make suggestions.”
During general congregations, cardinals can address the entire college. But one of the proposed changes, according to The Pillar, is to make these exchanges into “spiritual conversations” of smaller groups of cardinals, similar to the small-group discussions at the Synod on Synodality assembly in October.
The papal election process and the sede vacante, the period between a pope’s death or resignation and the election of his successor, are regulated by St. John Paul II’s 1996 apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis and Pope Francis’ 2022 apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium.