Philadelphia lawyer Patricia M. Dugan, who says that she is one of only a few lawyers who practice both Catholic canon law and U.S. civil law -– and one of the only laywomen in history to do so -– has launched a Web site devoted to helping people understand the process of electing the next pope.
The site, ElectAPope.com, provides explanations of the rituals of the papal funeral, the College of Cardinals, the conclave that will elect the next pope, and the coronation of the new pope. The site also allows visitors to cast their own vote for who should be the next pope. (To see the tally so far, click here.)
Dugan, a partner in the firm Dugan, Carver & Kosinski, earned her Juris Canonici Licentia at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome – the same university from which Pope John Paul II gained his degree – after she had already practiced law for 10 years.