Holding Your Own Conclave

As cardinals gather in the Vatican to elect a new pope, other people are holding their own conclaves.


The board game “Vatican: Unlock the Secrets of How Men Become Pope” provides a fun way to learn about the process of electing popes. The game was designed by Stephen Haliczer, Professor Emeritus of History at Northern Illinois University.

The Washington Post reports on the game Vatican and a group of Catholic women who recently played the game. These women are part of a movement, known as Call to Action or the Women’s Ordination Conference, which is pushing for female Catholic priests and religious leaders. “We’ve been figuring out,” one of the women said, “how to get pink smoke to Rome.”


Harper’s Magazine excerpted some of the game’s cards in 2008.

NIU History students will be interested to track the success of this board game, which was produced by one of their own professors. High school and college teachers of History, Political Science, and Religious Studies may be interested in using this board game as a teaching tool.

Now, if you can get your hands on a copy of Vatican, you can hold your own conclave.

This entry was posted in European History, History in the Media, Humanities Education, Italian History, Political Culture, Religious History, The Past Alive: Teaching History, Uncategorized, Women and Gender History. Bookmark the permalink.

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