Sunday 23 November 2014

How to elect a Pope

The "Telegraph" newspaper reports today on Austen Ivereigh's forthcoming book "The Great Reformer" - a biography of Pope Francis.   Ivereigh is the former Press Secretary to Murphy-O'Connor when he was Archbishop of Westminster.

According to the report, the book will reveal that:
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.
Disclosing that:
... there had been a discreet, but highly organised, campaign by a small group of European cardinals in support of Cardinal Bergoglio...  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.
You can't believe everything you read but this open an interesting window on how the politics of an election are sometimes managed. Even if the politics may make you a bit sad on this day when we remember that Christ the King calls us to move beyond worldly king-making.

As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this:
I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.  
(Ezekiel 34:17 - from the Feast of Christ the King)

You can read the full article here.


Simon Platt said...

Surely Austin Ivereigh's sources are obliged to maintain secrecy about the conclave unless, which seems unlikely, they have been dispensed from that obligation by the Holy Father?

Patricius said...

So we are told that a "dirty tricks campaign" stopped his holiness being elected in 2005 but "dinners" got him elected in 2013. Now there's food for thought!

Unknown said...

All the more proof that the election of this Pope had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, and everything to do with human scheming and intrigue.

Deacon Augustine said...

@ Simon Platt - if CMOC was the source, he didn't actually take part in the conclave himself because he was over 80, and so was probably not committed to secrecy.

However, in 2005 he was not shy to blab his mouth off about everything that had happened - he made it quite clear that he hadn't backed Ratzinger. He should have been excommunicated back then along with the others who broke their vow.

Jacobi said...

I suppose such shenanigans have always gone on.

But we know a lot about Cardinal Murphy O'Conner. He is definitely of the "old School" and by that I mean the “Spirit of Vatican II School, the “tolerate, while still holding to doctrine” school that we now see with Kasper.

I presume he and his lot supported the present Holy Father because they hoped he would in turn support that school of thought. All this in spite of the fact that the generation of Cardinal Murphy O’Connor presided over the most cataclysmic decline in the Catholic Church since the Reformation, a decline which still continues, and looks like being now greater than that of the post-Reformation period.

Well we shall see. The present Holy Father no doubt has such sympathies. Why else would he have chosen such a prominent role for Cardinal Kasper in the recent and coming Synod?

But on the other hand he is also the Pope, the Successor of Peter and Keeper of the Keys. Whatever his personal inclinations, he is not a free agent but is required to uphold the Magisterium of the Church.