Crispi, helped by Mancini and Cardinal Pecci (afterwards Leo persuaded the Sacred College to hold the conclave in Rome, and prorogued the chamber lest any untoward manifestation should mar the solemnity of the event.
Died, and on that night a minority of the Sacred College elected Paparesci, who took the name of Innocent II.
Rampolla was undoubtedly the favourite among the papabili cardinals; but the veto of Austria was interposed (see Conclave), and the votes of the Sacred College fell to Cardinal Sarto, who on the 4th of August 1903 became pope as Pius X.
To the patriarchate was appended a Sacred College of 24 prelates, who were privileged to officiate in the scarlet robes of cardinals, while the patriarch wore the vestments of a second pope.
The Sacred College having decided to hold the conclave abroad, Crispi assured them of absolute freedom if they remained in Rome, or of protection to the frontier should they migrate, but warned them that, once evacuated, the Vatican would be occupied in the name of the Italian government and be lost to the Church as headquarters of the papacy.
These, though more recent, have taken precedence of the former, the work of which they have, moreover, greatly relieved; they are indeed composed of the highest dignitaries of the church, the cardinals (q.v.), and are, as it were, subdivisions of the consistory, a council in which the whole of the Sacred College takes part.
During the Conclave of 1878 he succeeded, by negotiations with Cardinal Pecci (afterwards Leo XIII.), in inducing the Sacred College to remain in Rome, and, after the election of the new pope, arranged for his temporary absence from the Vatican for the purpose of settling private business.
The see still continues, and is indeed held by the dean of the sacred college of cardinals.
In the last years of this period fresh signs appeared of a reaction that emanated from the Sacred College itself.
In order to dominate the Sacred College more completely he created twelve new cardinals, among them his own son Cesare, then only eighteen years old, and Alessandro Farnese, the brother of Giulia Bella, one of the pope's mistresses, creations which caused much scandal.