An Argentine cardinal who's quietly drawing attention - again

An Argentine cardinal who's quietly drawing attention - again

     Argentine Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio

As we approach the start of Conclave 2013, it’s instructive to take a look back on Conclave 2005 – especially given the possibility that a protagonist of that election could return as a papabile this time around.

The vote tallies in the 2005 conclave were leaked five months later in an anonymous cardinal’s diary, which formed the basis of an article published by the Italian journal Limes. The author, Lucio Brunelli, is a respected journalist who has covered the Vatican for decades, so his account – which has since been supported by others – deserves attention.

According to the diary, Cardinal Ratzinger led off the first ballot by obtaining 47 votes. Behind him were Argentine Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio with 10 votes, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan with 9 votes and a handful of other candidates with lower numbers.

Cardinal Bergoglio’s showing on the first ballot was a real surprise, and the next day his tally climbed to 35, compared to 65 for Cardinal Ratzinger. The third vote brought Cardinal Ratzinger to 72 (five shy of the needed two-thirds majority) and Cardinal Bergoglio to 40.

The cardinals took their lunch break at this crucial point. It was clear that the next vote would either see the election of Cardinal Ratzinger or, if his support had peaked, mark a move toward another candidate – perhaps Cardinal Bergoglio.

According to anonymous sources later cited by Italian journalists, Cardinal Bergoglio let it be known – more in gestures than in words – that he was not ready to accept the office of the papacy. They say this is one reason some of his early supporters voted for Cardinal Ratzinger on the fourth and final ballot that elected him Pope Benedict XVI.

Others are adamant that Bergoglio never “refused” the possibility of election, and say he was simply humbled by the idea of becoming pope.

Why is this important today?

Because in the last few days, some serious voices have mentioned Cardinal Bergoglio as a contender in the coming conclave. Not simply because he came in second the last time around, but because he impressed cardinals when he took the floor in the pre-conclave meetings that began last week.

His words left the impression that even at age 76, Bergoglio had the energy and the inclination to do some house-cleaning in the Roman Curia.

Bergoglio, the son of an Italian railway worker, joined the Jesuit order at the age of 21. As a pastor in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, he has built a reputation as a conservative on doctrinal issues and a progressive on social justice.
He once said the church has to preach Gospel simplicity and Gospel certainty, and his own lifestyle seems to witness that message (he lives in a simple apartment and takes public transportation, for example.)

This conclave has multiple contenders but no real front-runner, and it’s quite possible that if early voting produces a stall, the College of Cardinals could once again turn to Cardinal Bergoglio as someone who would bring key changes but without an extra-long reign.

18 comments (Add your own)

1. Marie Dean wrote:
too old but interesting

Mon, March 11, 2013 @ 10:53 AM

2. jan wrote:
how could this information be known; papal election outcome are suppose to be secret

Mon, March 11, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

3. MTCCLE wrote:
I cannot believe that he is a candidate given all the rumors of his involvement with the dirty war in Argentina. Whether they are true or not, I just can't imagine that the other cardinals think that having to deal with this will help the Church in any way.

Mon, March 11, 2013 @ 11:20 AM

4. Bella wrote:
I would love to share this article with others but I do not feel it appropriate. Since the information is supposed to be kept secret I will do my part and keep it to myself.

Mon, March 11, 2013 @ 2:03 PM

5. Deacon John M. Bresnahan wrote:
I've been comparing the coverage of the opening (or should I say closing off) of the conclave on the various news channels I get on cable. And I found MSNBC's commenters insulting, disparaging, bigoted, nasty, etc., etc.. Whereas the other news channels had commenters who were clearly trying to simply explain what was going on step by step with some translations of words in the music and prayers.
I can't imagine such hate-filled bilge as was on MSNBC being allowed by a major network against any other religion.

Tue, March 12, 2013 @ 1:41 PM

6. conor wrote:

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 2:39 PM

7. Father Malley wrote:
Deacon John Breshahan- please keep the FoxNews talking points off this blog. How sad the the church needs Deacons and you had nothing to add but hate.

Stop the politics. The new Pope is a reformist so guys like you with political slants have no more use.

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 2:52 PM

8. Pie wrote:
Bullseye !

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

9. Phil wrote:
Deacon Bresnahan's comments on msnbc's coverage were unjustified. I was surfing back and forth between "the other news channels" and none of what Mr. Bresnahan said is true. I thought msnbc's coverage was just fine as were the other networks' coverage. Let me guess, I bet he loved Fox's coverage. I sense a typical political bias expressed by the deacon which is unfortunate. It would be better if our clergy would leave their politics out of their religion.

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 3:09 PM

10. Richard M wrote:
I can't speak to Fox News, but CBS News somehow managed to locate and interview at length a) the only visible women's ordination protesters in a square filled with 100,000 Catholics, and b) two American college students who were only there out of curiosity, and who hoped that the new Pope would "modernize" the Church.

Well, it may simply be better with any news coverage to mute the volume until the news maker actually starts to talk.

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 3:14 PM

11. Libera Me wrote:
Prophet John Thavis

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 3:40 PM

12. MTCCLE wrote:

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 3:48 PM

13. Fr. Stan Mader wrote:
Congratulations -- you nailed it. Blessings on Pope Francis.

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 4:15 PM

14. Brian dolan wrote:
Perhaps the deacons comments were a little too forcefull but the priest who commented should be ashamed

Thu, March 14, 2013 @ 11:46 AM

15. Deacon John M. Bresnahan wrote:
Maybe it was the time I tuned in to MSNBC. But when I was listening there were all sorts of derogatory, insulting wisecracks being made in a steady stream by Matthews and Barnicle. If Fox is not doing that and is pointing out the nasty coverage on MSNBC, then 3 Cheers for Fox.
And maybe my words were strong. But I was shocked at the nasty attitude those two had --and not about politics, but about, for example, what kinds of clothes clergy wear and the art in Catholic Churches in Italy, etc.--and not just editorial comments, but digs that were more like from Saturday Night Live.
My question is what is behind some people's love affair with MSNBC? Especially when it mocks during news coverage instead of reporting.
And I don't consider it "hate" to tell the truth about hate attacks being made by people from their powerful TV bully pulpit.

Thu, March 14, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

16. nancyo wrote:
Wow, looking back, it's very cool that you featured Cardinal Bergogli just as the conclave that elected him was about to begin. I've enjoyed your informative posts.

Fri, March 15, 2013 @ 8:30 PM

17. alicja wrote:
I absolutely love Him we need this strong character!

Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 8:01 AM

18. G Rivera wrote:
So, Mr. Thavis, who was your source for this inside information? Andrea Tornielli also added him as a papabili at the last minute. Were you together when you sniffed out this info? Just fascinating.

Fri, May 10, 2013 @ 5:37 PM

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