Here We Go, Again! Another Claim re. an Invalid Conclave

[ I recall some months ago a canonist’s effort to invalidate Bergoglio’s election on grounds of insufficiencies in Benedict’s resignation document. Then Antonio Socci wrote a book based on electoral irregularities. This latest item probably will not get any more traction than those attempts. Nevertheless, with this crowd, I’d put nothing past them. Thus, just in case…. gpmtrad ]

From: If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?

Nov 25 ’14
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


London, Nov. 25, 2014 — A remarkable letter to the editor, if ever there was one. A denial, which draws more attention, than the matter would otherwise merit. In today’s Daily Telegraph Letter’s Page, print edition, Maggie Doherty, the press-secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, denies a key fact in the reporting by Austen Ivereigh, a British journalist who just published a book exposing a concerted effort among Cardinals of the Roman Church to canvass for votes on behalf of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in the days prior to the Conclave of March 2013, which elected the latter as successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The on-line edition of the Telegraph has a short story about this, by John Bingham:

Pope Francis: how cardinals’ Conclave lobbying campaign paved way for Argentine pontiff

New biography of Pope Francis discloses how ‘Team Bergoglio’ reformists lobbied cardinals ‘below the radar’ ahead of Vatican Conclave

22 Nov 2014

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.

The choice of the largely unknown Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics came as a surprise to Vatican watchers and the faithful alike when the announcement was made in March last year.

The conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, the first pope for more than 600 years to step down, was viewed as wide open, although most predicted that the Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola or Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec would be elected.

When 76-year-old Bergoglio emerged as Pope on only the second day of voting, it was largely explained as a unity candidacy to prevent deadlock between rival factions.

But a biography of Pope Francis, to be published next month, discloses that there had been a discreet, but highly organised, campaign by a small group of European cardinals in support of Cardinal Bergoglio.

The Great Reformer, by the British Catholic writer Austen Ivereigh, nicknames the group “Team Bergoglio” and says members toured private dinners and other gatherings of cardinals in the days before the conclave, quietly putting their case.

Cardinal Bergoglio was effectively the runner-up in the 2005 conclave, in which Joseph Ratzinger was elected, having been put forward by an alliance of mainly European reformists.

But it later emerged that his chances of election were hampered by what amounted to a dirty tricks campaign by opponents from Argentina.

He also effectively pulled the plug on any campaign in 2005, urging would-be supporters to throw their weight behind Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and making clear that he did not wish to be the focus of a faction.

By 2013, he had been largely discounted by most commentators, partly due to his age, as well as because he had signalled that he did not wish to stand in Cardinal Ratzinger’s way.

But by last year, the appetite for reform in the Vatican and a pope without links to the establishment, widely seen as corrupt and riddled with in-fighting, had become intense.

“Spotting their moment, the initiative was now seized by the European reformers who in 2005 had pushed for Bergoglio,” Mr Ivereigh, who once served as Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s press secretary, explains in the book.

He wrote that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, then 80 and no longer with a vote in the conclave, teamed up with the German cardinal Walter Kasper, whose controversial call for remarried divorcees to be allowed to receive communion was one of the main points of division at the synod that Pope Francis held in Rome this year.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s role included lobbying his North American counterparts as well as acting as a link for those from Commonwealth countries.

“They had learnt their lessons from 2005,” Mr Ivereigh explains. “They first secured Bergoglio’s assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked.

“Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned him to ‘be careful’, and that it was his turn now, and was told ‘capisco’ – ‘I understand’.

“Then they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man, arguing that his age – 76 – should no longer be considered an obstacle, given that popes could resign. Having understood from 2005 the dynamics of a conclave, they knew that votes travelled to those who made a strong showing out of the gate.”

A spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said that the then Cardinal Bergoglio was not approached with a view to seeking his assent as a candidate for the papacy.

A key turning point came during the series of closed meetings before the conclave, known as congregations, when Cardinal Bergoglio gave a short but moving speech about the state of the Church.

But, the book argues, a ban on official updates about what was happening in the congregations meant that what information did emerge relied on leaks which concentrated on in-fighting within the Italian church.

“For this reason and because the organisers of his campaign stayed largely below the radar, the Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media and to this day most [Vatican watchers] believe there was no organised pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected,” Mr Ivereigh says.

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8 comments on “Here We Go, Again! Another Claim re. an Invalid Conclave

  1. This may not get any more traction than recent attempts, but what does flag this case up is the speed with which Cardinal Murphy O’Connor denied the reports in the book which was written by his former press secretary. O’Connor usually ignores goings on in the media and remains aloof from the fray. This one must have rattled him for some reason as he has not been shy to boast how close he has been to the Pope since his election.

  2. You are violating my intellectual property rights by reproducing my report on AngelQueen, I demand in accord with US law, that you remove it at once.


    Br. Alexis Bugnolo
    editor/author of From Rome Blog

  3. In my opinion the far more important question is whether Jorge is indeed Catholic and not a manifest heretic. If he is, he cannot be pope. As to the conclave, with all the intrigue and secret goings-on in the Vatican, anything is possible.

  4. On phaley’s point:

    While a seventh grade catechism student can easily find any number of instances of MATERIAL heresy in the documents of Vatican II and in speeches and texts from Popes Paul VI, JPII, Benedict XVI and Francis, there is, however, a key consideration to keep in mind.

    Only a properly constituted ecclesial court, can determine if Vatican II and/or any of the four conciliar popes are SUBJECTIVELY heretical (i.e., going to intent and/or with further intent to impose such as a formal teaching.) No non-member of said ecclesial court has authority to do so.

    A pope can simply err. He may also “run it right up to the edge” and, with “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” gestures egg on his audience into believing he’s trying to fudge with doctrine. But unless he clearly states something like, “Regardless of what Trent taught, I DECLARE “X” instead….” then his heresy remains material and not formal (i.e., declared with intent to bind.)

    Which is why we’re all stuck until we finally get a Judge Roy Bean-type to take up the case in sunny nuovo Roma.

    Which won’t be anytime soon, alas.

  5. Just so we’re on the same page, I did not use the term “material heretic” but said “manifest heretic” meaning he manifests or demonstrates heresy to me. Whether Jorge realizes what he’s doing is quite another matter. And, it is true that only a properly constituted conclave can resolve this matter. But let’s not mince words here, the hierarchy seems resolutely undetermined to put Jorge in his place.

  6. Re. the coverups and whistling past the graveyard? No question whatsoever, phaley.

    It’s like Obamazombie land in Nuovo Roma and the chanceries, these days.

    I wish I had been able to make more clear my own conviction that there is plenty of MATERIAL heresy on the record from the Council and the popes I mentioned, which is certainly, as you say, MANIFEST.

  7. Sorry to hear about your eye condition. Have you tried various screen colorings, print sizes, room lighting, also postures, e.g., looking up vs ahead vs tilted down, close vs far? We gotta keep you going here.

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