Category Archives: Team Bergoglio

Se il Collegio dei Cardinali non fa il suo dovere

Traduzione di Antonio Marcantonio dal testo inglese originale
con qualche modifica dell’Autore

Roman_RuinsRoma, 30 gennaio 2015: Due giorni dopo la presentazione, da parte del blog From Rome, di quelli che sembrano essere crimini canonici ad opera del “Team Bergoglio” – così il Dr. Austin Ivereigh, ex-portavoce del Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, ha definito il gruppo di otto Cardinali che hanno cospirato per l’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio prima del Conclave del 2013 e durante il suo svolgimento – Padre Federico Lombardi, portavoce della Santa Sede, ha annunciato che Papa Francesco ha convocato un concistoro speciale di Cardinali nei giorni 14 e 15 febbraio, per nominare venti nuovi Cardinali: si tratta di un tentativo di alterare per sempre la fisionomia del Collegio, sostituendone una la cui maggioranza di membri era stata scelta da Papa Giovanni Paolo II e Benedetto XVI ad un’altra la cui maggioranza di membri sarà composta da Cardinali scelti da Papa Francesco o che sono stati coinvolti nello scandalo della richiesta di voti per la sua elezione*.

 

Il dovere del Sacro Collegio dei Cardinali

L’attendibilità delle accuse portate nel caso contro il “Team Bergoglio” è stata ampiamente dimostrata nel nostro articolo del 6 gennaio 2015: Da Ivereigh all’abdicazione, i passi canonici resi necessari dallo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”. E i fondamenti canonici che consentirebbero di sollevare la questione dell’invalidità dell’elezione del Papa durante il Concistoro di febbraio sono stati esplicati nel nostro articolo del 17 gennaio 2014, Qualsiasi Cardinale Elettore ha il diritto di richiedere che lo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” sia chiarito.

Vedi la nostra Cronologia completa sullo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”.

È ovvio che se i venti nuovi Cardinali nominati da Papa Francesco si aggiungono al Collegio dei Cardinali, tale corpo, de facto, non avrà più la capacità di indagare sulle accuse contro la validità dell’elezione di Papa Francesco che emergono tanto dalla narrazione degli eventi da parte del Dr. Austen Ivereigh come dall’indagine sulle irregolarità della procedura osservata durante il Conclave da parte di Antonio Socci, nel suo libro Non è Francesco che è attualmente un best-seller in Italia.

In questo caso, è valida la massima e la regola canonica:  Qui tacet videtur consentire (C. 43 in VI.5.12.).

Entrambe le fonti esprimono dei dubbi che sorgono da dichiarazioni fatte non dagli oppositori del Cardinal Bergoglio, bensì dai suoi stessi sostenitori, che sostengono di aver parlato con i Cardinali Elettori (nel caso di Ivereigh) o con lo stesso Cardinal Bergoglio (nel caso di Socci). Si tratta pertanto di testimoni estremamente attendibili.

Allo stesso tempo, nel momento in cui scriviamo, 354 Cattolici di tutto il mondo hanno inoltrato una petizione al Collegio dei Cardinali affinché esso indaghi sulle accuse di eterodossia contro il Cardinal Bergoglio e sul carattere eterodosso del suo comportamento personale prima e dopo la sua “elezione” papale, elementi sulla base dei quale essi credono che egli debba essere dichiarato invalidamente eletto e deposto come eretico. Non si sa quanti Cardinali conoscano l’esistenza di questa petizione, anche se le dovrebbe essere garantita con certezza una risposta pubblica.

I Cattolici di tutto il mondo, pertanto, dovrebbero farsi la seguente domanda:

Dopo il 15 febbraio, quando i nuovi Cardinali saranno insediati, che ne sarà della Chiesa?

Il Cardinal Bergoglio, già a partire dall’epoca del Conclave del 2013, ha mostrato in modo estremamente chiaro e costante, a tutti quelli che hanno occhi per vedere, di non essere in possesso della Fede Cattolica – anche se ogni volta che parla spontaneamente contro di essa e glielo si fa notare, egli si scusa adducendo il fatto di non aver avuto l’intenzione di negare nulla –; le ripetute espressioni del proprio credo individuale, la costante impunità e l’artificialità dei tentativi di mettere tutto a tacere dopo gli scandali che egli provoca, mostrano che egli sta semplicemente mantenendo salda la sua presa sull’ufficio che detiene, al fine di portare avanti il disegno esplicito e maligno di distruggere l’adesione e la lealtà della Chiesa al Magistero di Gesù Cristo, il Figlio Incarnato di Dio.

Persino i suoi sostenitori, come il Cardinal Baldissieri o il Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, affermano che egli si trovava dietro ogni azione scandalosa al recente Sinodo Straordinario sulla Famiglia e che la sua intenzione era quella di alterare irrimediabilmente e irrevocabilmente la natura stessa della Chiesa.  Pure, il Cardinal Marx afferma che Francesco rigetta la Chiesa come “una chiesa di verità”, perché come tale sarebbe “inutile per il popolo”.

Chiunque legga le notizie lo dovrebbe ormai sapere. Anche i Cardinali del Sacro Collegio.

Se essi non interverranno, risulterà evidente che fanno parte di un gruppo di complici de facto che condividono gli sforzi o le intenzioni del Cardinal Bergoglio di rovesciare la Chiesa Cattolica. In tal caso, essi diventeranno sospetti non solo di eresia, ma soprattutto di pertinacia in collusione sia attiva sia passiva col Cardinal Bergoglio. Essi perderebbero in tal modo ogni diritto di rappresentare il clero di Roma, in virtù del Canone 194, che recita in latino come segue:

Can. 194 — § 1. Ipso iure ab ecclesiastico amovetur:

1° qui statum clericalem amiserit;
qui a fide catholica aut a communione Ecclesiae publice defecerit;
3° clericus qui matrimonium etiam civile tantum attentaverit.

2. Amotio, de qua in nn. 2 et 3, urgeri tantum potest, si de eadem auctoritatis competentis declaratione constet.

Che, nella nostra traduzione non ufficiale ma letterale in italiano, recita come segue:

Canone 194 — § 1. In base alla stessa legge sono rimossi dallo stato ecclesiastico:

  1. Chi ha perso lo stato clericale;
  2. Chi ha disertato pubblicamente la Fede Cattolica o la comunione con la Chiesa;
  3. Un chierico che abbia cercato di contrarre matrimonio, anche solo civile.

2. Si può procedere alla rimozione, nei casi di cui ai numeri 2 e 3, solo se il caso viene stabilito da una dichiarazione dell’autorità competente riguardo la stessa.

È infatti ovvio che chi cospira per la negazione dell’insegnamento di Gesù Cristo è un eretico e un nemico della Chiesa Cattolica. Non è legittimo considerarlo in comunione con Essa più di quanto un virus mortale possa essere considerato parte del corpo che infetta**.

Il paragrafo 2 stabilisce che in primo luogo le autorità competenti devono giudicare i fatti: solo allora è lecito rimuovere dal loro ufficio la persona o le persone coinvolte.

Il diritto divino e naturale del Clero di Roma

seminario romanoIl fatto che l’autorità competente in una materia così grave sia il Clero della Diocesi di Roma si deduce senza alcuna possibilità di obiezione dal suo diritto divino e naturale. Divino, per il fatto che il clero di ogni diocesi, in caso di eresia del proprio vescovo e dei suoi collaboratori, ha il diritto di espellerli dalla comunione della Chiesa; naturale, poiché in ogni società umana gli unici membri che hanno l’autorità di espellerne altri sono quelli che conservano fedelmente la natura e la forma di tale società.

Questo duplice diritto del Clero di Roma viene affermato dall’Enciclopedia Cattolica, pubblicata più di cento anni fa, nel suo articolo sull’Elezione di un Papa, in cui dice:

Come si è visto, la guida suprema della Chiesa è abbinata all’ufficio di Vescovo di Roma. Il Papa diventa pastore capo perché è il Vescovo di Roma; non diventa Vescovo di Roma perché è stato scelto come capo della Chiesa universale. Pertanto, è corretto dire che l’elezione al papato è innanzitutto un’elezione al vescovato locale. I membri della Chiesa Romana hanno sempre avuto il diritto di eleggere il proprio vescovo. Sono essi che hanno la facoltà di poter dare alla Chiesa universale il suo pastore supremo; non viene loro assegnato un vescovo in virtù della sua elezione da parte della Chiesa universale. Ciò non significa che l’elezione debba consistere in un voto popolare da parte dei romani. Per quanto riguarda gli affari ecclesiastici, spetta sempre alla gerarchia guidare le decisioni dei fedeli. La scelta di un vescovo spetta al clero e deve essere limitata ai suoi livelli più alti. Questo è valido per la Chiesa Romana attuale. I membri del collegio dei cardinali elettori esercitano il loro ufficio in quanto gerarchi del clero romano. Se mai il collegio dei cardinali cessasse di esistere, il compito di scegliere un pastore supremo non cadrebbe sui vescovi riuniti in un concilio, ma sui restanti membri del clero Romano. Fu Papa Pio IV, all’epoca del Concilio di Trento, che insistette su questo punto in un’allocuzione concistoriale, temendo che al momento della sua morte il concilio potesse rivendicare tale diritto.

Tutte queste cose devono essere osservate con proprietà, discrezione e coscienza.

Quindi, se il Sacro Collegio si astiene dal ripudiare queste intenzioni maligne e dallo sciogliere i dubbi a proposito dell’elezione, il clero della Diocesi di Roma ha il diritto di fare da giudice. In tale diritto sarebbe inclusa la facoltà di interrogare le parti, tanto il Cardinal Bergoglio come tutti gli altri membri o co-cospiratori del “Team Bergoglio”, o chiunque possa dare testimonianza sulla mancanza di Fede Cattolica in lui o nei suoi sostenitori.

È sufficiente giudicare gli elementi a disposizione per poter emettere una sentenza che stabilisca o – in virtù della legge papale UDG 4 – che il conclave del 2013 non ha svolto un’elezione canonicamente valida, ovvero che Papa Francesco, per sua propria eresia, manifesta l’intenzione maligna di allontanarsi dalla fedeltà a Cristo su qualche materia. Qualora venissero interrogati, i Cardinali non potrebbero avvalersi del fatto di essere vincolati al voto pronunciato al conclave, perché nei procedimenti giudiziari le testimonianze non violano in nessun modo un voto di segretezza e perché in situazioni di questo genere il bene della Chiesa è superiore ad ogni voto.

Il clero della Diocesi di Roma comprende non solo i sacerdoti e i diaconi incardinati, ma anche i Vescovi Ausiliari e gli Arcivescovi, i Vescovi, i sacerdoti e i monsignori che sono incardinati nel Vaticano, che pur essendo per la legge civile uno stato separato, rimane una parte della Diocesi di Roma per il diritto canonico. Avrebbero diritto di partecipare come giudici a un processo del genere anche i Cardinali che non hanno potuto partecipare al Conclave del 2013 o che non potranno partecipare al Concistoro del 2015 – ivi compreso il Papa Emerito, “Padre Benedetto”, come chiede ora di essere chiamato –, così come i vescovi ausiliari, i sacerdoti e i diaconi della Diocesi di Roma in pensione ma ancora incardinati nella Diocesi.

Sarà quindi Dio che riderà ultimo, perché con il mero fatto di nominare nuovi Cardinali Elettori un uomo eletto in modo non canonico non potrà mai imporre un fait accompli alla Chiesa di Roma.

__________________________

* 115 Cardinali hanno partecipato al Conclave del 2013. Il Dr. Ivereigh afferma che il “Team Bergoglio” era composto da otto Cardinali (sette dei quali partecipavano attivamente, mentre l’altro conteggiava le promesse di voto) e da due possibili cospiratori che hanno raccolto 25 promesse di voto per il primo scrutinio. Se essi hanno ottenuto quanto volevano alla prima votazione, si può presumere con un ragionevole margine di probabilità che – come dice il Dr. Ivereigh – abbiano continuato tale attività anche dopo di essa, e quindi che anche qualcuno dei 53 voti guadagnati successivamente sia stato promesso. Tutti i Cardinali che hanno richiesto e promesso voti sarebbero stati ipso facto scomunicati. La serietà di queste accuse è stata recentemente dimostrata: il 6 gennaio 2015 il Cardinal Danneels, tramite il suo portavoce, ha esplicitamente negato di aver chiesto voti per il Cardinal Bergoglio prima il Conclave. E a partire del 15 febbraio più la maggioranza del Sacro Collegio sarà tanto in favore di Bergoglio, che con ogni probabilità non vorrà sentire nemmeno un accenno all’invalidità della sua elezione né tanto meno emettere un giudizio equo su di essa.

** Bisogna qui distinguere con attenzione e riconoscere che una cosa è avere abbastanza elementi  per esigere un processo o un’indagine per stabilire se il Pontefice di Roma è un eretico o è stato eletto in modo non canonico; altra cosa è averne la certezza: la seconda ipotesi richiede infatti la certezza delle prove a livello dei giudizi privati, e anche un atto forense di giudizio da parte dell’autorità competente a livello dei giudizi pubblici. È questa la ragione per cui la necessità che vengano sciolti i dubbi sullo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” tramite un giudizio pubblico è di un’urgenza assoluta: perché la Chiesa rischia non solo che ai suoi fedeli venga negato il diritto di avere un legittimo successore di San Pietro, ma anche uno scisma tra i seguaci di un candidato che sembrerebbe essere falso e quanti insistono sulla necessità di averne uno legittimo.

Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal

UDG 5 and Canon 1530

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave
The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave

Rome, January 17, 2015:  Ever since the revelation of an organized campaign by 8 Cardinals to promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave, which elected him as Pope Francis, there has been a grave public controversy and doubt as to the validity of his election.  This is because the current papal law on elections, the Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, lacked the specific term which would have exempted it from being interpreted according to the general norms of Canon Law: specifically from canons 171 and 1329.

In paragraph 81 of Universi Dominic Gregis (here after UDG), the crime of vote-promising is penalized with automatic excommunication, such that in the very act of promising a vote, a Cardinal elector is excommunicated.  On account of canon 1329, that automatic excommunication is extended to the one asking for the vote promise, even if the one asking is also a Cardinal elector.  On account of the terms of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors, even Cardinals in a conclave, cannot be counted in favor of the candidate they name; and on account of canon 171 §2, if they are counted among the number in favor of the candidate in such wise that they cause that number to be sufficient for victory, according to the norms of the election, the election is nullified in all its effects.

Thus the fattispecies, or appearance of facts, in the narrative of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, argue for the invalidity of the election of Pope Francis, that is, that Pope Francis did not obtain his office by a legal, lawful, or legitimate means.  That would mean that Catholics not only could legitimately break off communion with him, but would be morally obliged to do so, under pain of mortal sin.

Thus, the probity of the allegations regard a true scandal.

UDG 5 gives a simple solution to the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Thankfully, Pope John Paul II provided in his papal law on conclaves an easy solution, which any single Cardinal can take advantage of: the terms stated in the 5th paragraph of that law, UDG 5, the official Latin text of which is:

5. Si quae autem dubia exoriantur de sensu praescriptionum, quae hac Nostra Constitutione continentur, aut circa rationem qua ad usum deduci eae debeant, edicimus ac decernimus penes Cardinalium Collegium esse potestatem de his ferendi sententiam; propterea, eidem Cardinalium Collegio facultatem tribuimus interpretandi locos dubios vel in controversiam vocatos, statuentes, ut, si de eiusmodi vel similibus quaestionibus deliberati oporteat, excepto ipso electionis actu, satis sit maiorem congregatorum Cardinalium partem in eandem sententiam convenire.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

5. Moreover, if which doubts rise up concerning the sense of the prescriptions, which are contained in this Our Constitution, or about the reckoning by which they should be put into practice, We decree and judge that the power to make judgement concerning these is within the College of Cardinals; moreover, We grant to the College of Cardinals the faculty of interpreting doubtful passages and/or those called into controversy, so that, if having deliberated concerning questions of this kind and/or the similar, excepting the very act of the election itself, it be sufficient that the greater part of the Cardinals gathered together agree upon the same sentence.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshot by From Rome blog, cropped)

In this paragraph, Pope John Paul II establishes several specific things.  The first of which is the authority and jurisdiction of the Sacred College over questions regarding the meaning of the individual paragraphs and about the method to be used to put them into practice; second, about the interpretation of doubtful paragraphs and those about which a dispute arises.  Third, he establishes that the Cardinals are to deliberate about these, and that a vote is to be taken, and that the decisions are to be arrived at by a majority of the assembled Cardinal electors.

In other words, then, the papal law in UDG 5 establishes the Cardinal Electors, gathered together, to be the judge of cases which arise regarding the papal law itself. The only matter excluded, is that they cannot judge the very act of the election, that is, they cannot judge whether the act took place or not, only if the terms of the papal law were properly adhered to or followed.  The papal law, in UDG 4 already establishes that any non-compliance with it terms renders the election null and void, so, thus, there is no need for the Cardinals to decide upon the validity of the act itself.

Thus, it is sufficient that the Cardinals gather together, deliberate the matter of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, and decide the case.  They would discuss whether the allegations are true and investigate them by asking the eye-witnesses, one another, whether UDG 81 was violated by vote-canvassing conducted by the supporters of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Canon 1530 guarantees the right to investigate charges

Canon 1530 guarantees the right of every Cardinal to have the allegations regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal investigated in Consistory.  This is because it grants to the judge of every contentious trial, the right and duty to investigate the facts of the controversy and rule upon them, at the request of any party to the case.  The text of that canon reads:

Can. 1530 — Iudex ad veritatem aptius eruendam partes interrogare semper potest, immo debet, ad instantiam partis vel ad probandum factum quod publice interest extra dubium poni.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

Canon 1530 — The judge can always interrogate the parties to draw the truth out more aptly, nay he ought, at the insistence of a party and/or to prove a fact which is of public interest, to put it outside of doubt.

The judge in this case would be the entire College of Cardinal Electors, the parties in the case would be any single and all the Cardinal Electors and those accused of canvassing votes.  Thus any single Cardinal could demand the Sacred College to investigate the charges.  This would be done by interrogating collectively each individual Cardinal.  The kind of questions, that could be asked, are any whatsoever.  Canon 1531 requires that all questioned answer truthfully. The Cardinals could do whatever is proscribed for contentious trials in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (cf. canons 1501 ff.).

The solution is simple. The matter of “Team Bergoglio” can easily be resolved.  Why then is there any controversy at all? or Why do the supporters of “Team Bergoglio” argue so angrily against an investigation?

Francis became Pope thanks to Belgian Cardinal Danneels

Cardinal Godfried Danneels was a part of Team Bergoglio, a group of cardinals that got the Argentine elected as pope in 2013 :  a new biography about pope Francis claims. — “If that is true, the election might be invalid,” says Vatican expert Tom Zwaenepoel.

by Michaël Temmerman of Nieuwsblad.be —  (English transl.; original Flemish article: source)*

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Anastasia al Palatino
Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Anastasia al Palatino

If it’s a short conclave, Bergoglio will be elected pope. You can be sure of that.” Those words were whispered by the British cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor just before the start of the 2013 conclave. He was talking to Austin Ivereigh, his spokesman at that time. Those words are now repeated in The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, a recently published biography about pope Francis written by that same Austin Ivereigh. The author of the book claims that those words prove the existence of Team Bergoglio, a group of five cardinals who would have canvassed for votes in favor of the Argentine. “And the Belgian cardinal Danneels was among those five cardinals,” says Vatican expert Tom Zwaenepoel. “He is mentioned seven times in the book.”

Conspiracy theory

According to the book, the team not only lobbied for Bergoglio in 2013 but also in 2005. “I suppose some of it is true. But how much?” says Zwaenepoel. “Propagandizing and recruiting votes for a specific candidate are illegal and would make the election invalid.  But there’s a big difference between lobbying for someone and expressing sympathy for a certain candidate in an informal talk. According to the book Bergoglio knew about the lobbying in 2013 and would even have given his permission for it. But those statements are being retracted from the newer versions of the biography. Because they aren’t true or because the Vatican pressured the author to do so? We will probably never know for sure.”

Less than two days after the book hit the shops, the Vatican already stated that the accusations were all lies. Toon Osaer, spokesman of cardinal Danneels, also doesn’t believe in a conspiracy theory. “If you see how glad Danneels was after the conclave, you can be sure that Francis was his favorite candidate. But that doesn’t mean there was some sort of a master-plan to help the Argentine to the papal seat. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the cardinal didn’t canvass for votes for Bergoglio in the days and weeks before the conclave.”

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The Flemish original was published on Jan. 6, 2015, p.  10, by Nieuwsblad, a Belgian newspaper in Antwerp. — Note that Belgian copyright law extends to this English translation (done for the From Rome blog), neither of which can be reproduced for commercial ends. — Michaël Temmerman is a staff reporter for the Nieuwsblad.

Cardinal Napier says there is no evidence for “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Rome, January 15, 2015.  His Eminence Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban South Africa, spoke today regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, affirming that there is no verifiable evidence and that it is not on the agenda for the upcoming Consistory of Cardinals to be held in February.  His comments were made during a Twitter dialogue with the editor of the From Rome blog, which began after the Cardinal insisted on the recognition of the hierarchy of rights. A hierarchy which the author of the From Rome blog zealously recognizes.

Here is a transcript of that conversation.  Note that the tweets of each participant are repeated to authenticate the thread of tweets.

 

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555655157162442753

(Ed. note: Here the Cardinal is referring to the importunity of being Twittered on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in the past, by the editor of this blog).

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555712244554940416

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555716301818437632

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555716513714696192

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555716792451358721

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555717082403590144

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555717275299627010

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555717546176159744

This is no joke. To ignore the scandal, would be to mock the Catholic Faith.

The Verifiable evidence

Here we must recognize a fundamental, threefold distinction in every forensic consideration regarding the probity of evidence.

  1. the probity of evidence necessary to impute a crime to an individual or group,
  2. the probity of evidence necessary to investigate a crime,
  3. the probity of evidence necessary to prove the crime imputed,

What is had via the published text of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s book, regards the first; the analysis of that evidence along with published statements, documents, interviews, etc., regarding the implicated individuals, regards the second; the findings which the Sacred College would obtain by an inquiry in Consistory, regard the third.

Regarding the first 2 kinds of probity, we have the verifiable evidence, published thus far, which can be found as reported in the following 3 articles by the From Rome blog: the testimony of Dr. Austen Ivereigh, regarding the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, in our analysis of the text of the 9th chapter his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, and his recent reaffirmation of that narrative’s veracity, in Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account; the canonical implications of what Dr. Ivereigh recounts are summarized in, From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.

And all reports, by news agencies around the world, including our own posts, can be found in our Chronology of Reports regarding “Team Bergoglio”, which is updated regularly.

Ivereigh’s claims appear to be verified by the endorsement of his book by Cardinal Dolan of New York City, an elector during the 2013 conclave, by the 2 Cardinals whom Ivereigh on Jan. 6th, 2015 claimed were sources for his information, and by 3 of the 7 accused Cardinals who have not denied that they canvassed for votes, though they deny asking Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to do so; not to mention by the other 4 Cardinals who are named by Ivereigh, but who have denied nothing since the book was published on Nov. 25, 2014.

All this leads to a great probity which merits the investigation of the allegations.  But this can only be done by the Cardinals in Consistory, behind closed doors, since they cannot violate the vow of the conclave, and since they alone are first hand witnesses.  Canon 1530 and 1531 demand this.

For the record, we note, here, only that Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his book says “Team Bergoglio” targeted the Cardinals from Africa for vote promises. If any of them, such as Cardinal Napier, gave such promises, it would have been a violation of the papal law on conclaves, punishable by automatic excommunication (cf. Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81).

Who tallied votes for “Team Bergoglio”?

German cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx and Italian Severino Poletto arrive at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals' Congregations on March 4, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by  Franco Origlia | Getty Images Europe — Cropped Screen Shot)
German cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx and Italian Severino Poletto arrive at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals’ Congregations on March 4, 2013 at the Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia, Getty Images Europe — Cropped Screen Shot, not for commercial use)

Rome, January 11, 2015:  Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the author of The Great Reformer:  Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope recently reminded the world that the Conclave of 2013 contains many secrets of which the world has yet to know.  One of the more intriguing mysteries to which he refers to in the ninth chapter of his book, where he describes in detail the organized effort to solicit and obtain the promises of votes for Cardinal Bergoglio — which this blog has shown is a formal violation of the papal law on Conclaves, punished by automatic excommunication for those Cardinal electors promising them, and by the Code of Canon Law, c. 1329 for those soliciting them — is the identity, as yet not revealed, of the aged Italian Cardinal who kept a tally of the votes.

Who this is, is unknown. And one can only make inferences on published facts, inferences which have not much probity.

Since Cardinals attended the open sessions of the Conclave in 2013 at the same time in which from Dr. Ivereigh’s account it appears “Team Bergoglio” was actively soliciting support for Cardinal Bergoglio, it can be presupposed that their closest collaborators were those who were the men most frequently in their company, and in whose company they feared not to be photographed. This conjectural probability is valid in anthropology or sociology, but not in forensics.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that the one aged Italian Cardinal, in whose company one of the leading alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” was seen in that period — according to the photo record — was Cardinal Severino Poletti, retired Archbishop of Turino, Italy, and Cardinal-Priest of San Giuseppe in via Trionfale.

Seen also in the photograph above is Cardinal Marx, one of the more prominent supporters of the theological and pastoral proposals of Cardinal Kasper, rejected by the majority of Bishops at the recent Extra-ordinary Synod on the Family, in October.

For a complete Chronology of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, from around the world, including our own, see our Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”.

Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account

and have heard nothing that contradicts it.

Dr. Ivereigh presents his book to Pope Francis: Friday Nov 21, 2014.
Dr. Ivereigh presents his book to Pope Francis: Friday Nov 21, 2014. Screen shot of a Twitter Page viewing his Twitter Feed Time-Line.

Rome, January 9, 2015:  Following the publication of the summary of the case against “Team Bergoglio”, Dr. Austen Ivereigh has confirmed the veracity of his account given in the ninth chapter of his, now famous book, The Great Reformer, in his January 7, 2015 response to Fr. Brennan, S. J., entitled, Setting the Record Straight on Pope Francis, a reply to Frank BrennanFr. Brennan is a professor of law at the Australian Catholic University; he had attempted in his review of Ivereigh’s book to discount the probity of Ivereigh’s testimony.

In  response, Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former spokesman to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor speaks directly of the charges Fr. Brennan makes against the accuracy of his report about the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, saying thus:

Regarding the conclave, Father Brennan is right to highlight the discrepancy between my account and the statement of Father Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, and I am grateful for this opportunity for further clarification.

While I did interview my old boss, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, for the book, I relied on a number of different accounts, some of which were off the record, as well as stitching together anecdotes from different places, which is standard practice for journalistic reconstructions of papal elections. The quotes I use from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor are ones he has given in different interviews.

I made two mistakes in the phrasing of my account. One was to give the impression that the group of cardinals seeking Bergoglio’s election in some way secured his agreement before the conclave, which they never did; I meant only that they believed that this time he would not refuse. Immediately after that sentence, I wrote: “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.” In fact, that exchange did not take place before the conclave, but during it.(1)

The reason this matters is that conclave rules forbid the drawing up of pacts or agreements between cardinals. (2) But they do not prevent cardinals urging each other to vote for particular candidates – that is how popes get made. When the four cardinals I cited said, through Father Lombardi, that there was no “campaign” to get Bergoglio elected, I assume they mean that there was no such agreement between them and him, and I have been happy to confirm that I never meant to suggest that there was. The issue has been dealt with well by John L. Allen, Jr, at Crux.

Father Brennan asks: “Why will the book still report that ‘Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned Bergoglio to “be careful,” that it was his turn now, and was told: capisco, “I understand”‘?” Because that is what the cardinal said to Bergoglio before the conclave, and there was nothing wrong with it: such light-hearted yet pointed exchanges are normal in the pre-conclave discussions.

These clarifications notwithstanding, I am confident of the veracity of my account, and have heard nothing that contradicts it – although, as I say in the book, there is still much we are still to learn about that conclave.

with Footnotes & boldfacing added to text by the From Rome Blog

Our Commentary

It is noteworthy that Dr. Ivereigh does not deny explicitly that there was an effort to seek vote-promises, each of which are of themselves violations of UDG 81, and are penalized by excommunication both for the individual soliciting and the individual promising. Nor does he deny that the individuals he mentions played no role at all. What he says in his book, therefore, remains untouched, in our opinion, as regards the intention, nature, and end of the culpable acts. (3)

It is also important to note, that he understands Fr. Lombard’s Dec. 1, 2014 denial as a denial of an agreement between the 4 Cardinals (Murphy-O’Conner, Danneels, Lehman & Kasper) and Cardinal Bergoglio, but not that there was no agreement at all. This was our interpretation from the beginning.

It is also important to note the indirect statements Dr. Ivereigh makes, “I am happy to report that…”, “The issue has been dealt with”.  This final citation to John L. Allen’s report, in which Ivereigh speculates about the non-meaning of the word “campaign”, reflects the conflict which arose between him and the alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” regarding what he wrote in the ninth chapter of his book. Ivereigh stands by what he wrote, even if he is willing to bend to the vocabulary insisted upon by the Cardinals involved, in their public denials, so as not to give the impression of the imputation of any violation of the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis.

Their denials and Ivereigh’s explanations demonstrate that the text of the ninth chapter, as written in the original print edition, was of itself, objectively speaking, sufficient to give rise to the imputation of at least some violation of the papal law.  And this has been the position of the From Rome blog from the beginning.

One alleged member of “Team Bergoglio” is Cardinal Walter Kasper, who publicly denied the racially tinged comments he made in the presence of Edward Pentin during the recent Synod on the Family, until Pentin produced a recording of his comments. That public attempt, by a Cardinal of the Roman Church, to gravely damage the reputation of a leading Vaticanista was received with indignation and horror throughout the Catholic world. The case shows how far even Cardinals can be tempted to go to suppress the truth of what they said or did.

Finally, this recent explanation given by Dr. Ivereigh is important for confirming that his source for his information was Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and another Cardinal, as yet unidentified, and that, given the published reports regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal and the various interpretations given to his text by Tweeters and Bloggers and other commentators, he states, “and I have heard nothing that contradicts” what he claims in his narrative. (4)

Perhaps it is no coincidence, then, that yesterday, January 8, 2015, Pope Francis received in audience one of the accused members, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris, and that this morning, he received in audience another member, Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

The Cardinals named in the ninth chapter of Ivereigh’s book are:  Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster, Godfried Danneels of Belgium, Walter Kasper, the Cardinal-Priest of Ognissanti, Rome, Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, André Armand Vingt-Trois of Paris and Santos Abril y Castello, Cardinal-Archpriest of St. Mary Major, Rome.

____________________________

FOOTNOTES

(1) Here Dr. Ivereigh apparently errs, because Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor in his Sept. 12, 2013 interview, ascribes the mentioned exchange as occurring prior to the call,  Extra-omnes, when the Conclave’s secret sessions began.

(2) Here Dr. Ivereigh errs inasmuch as the papal law, UDG 81, does not limit the penalized activities to only written contracts, but those of any kind of obligation. He also omits that it penalizes even “promises”, not just “pacts” and “agreements”.  These omissions point to the crux of the matter.

(3)  As we have noted in examining the text of the American edition of his book, wherein in ch. 9, we note what he had written and what it seems to signify in canonical terms:

“… Their objective was to secure at least twenty-five votes for Bergoglio on the first ballot.  An ancient Italian cardinal kept the tally of how many votes they could rely on before the conclave started.” — This statement which has never been denied or repudiated on point, confirms the charge of a violation of UDG 81, without any wiggle-room, because you cannot tally votes, unless votes have been promised, and if they are promised, then the ones asking have sought them, and both parties have entered into some kind of obligation or pact or agreement to vote for a particular candidate in the first ballot, while not voting for all other candidates.

(4)  This, however, by no means indicates that Ivereigh is in favor of a canonical punishment of the alleged members. He wrote freely, what he wrote in his book, without any intention of alleging anything, imputing any crime to anyone, nor does he believe that the substance of what he wrote has this signification, which makes his testimony, thus, all the more reliable as an objective narration of the facts and persons.

————-

Updated on Jan. 10, 2015.

From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screen shot by From Rome blog, cropped)

Rome — January 6, 2015:  On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Catholic Church celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of the Eternal Light over the darkness merited by this world by the sin of Adam, the darkness which is the demerit of sin, the alienation of God, the loss of God’s Light which would have led Adam’s race from its first progeny to a most splendid glory. For on this day, the Church celebrates the revelation of the Eternal Light incarnate in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin, revealed now to the Gentiles who seek Him out; and not all gentiles, but only those who like the Magi of old, seek Him with sincerity and zeal.

This great Mystery which we celebrate today must be echoed in all the choices of life which we make, must be echoed in the entire life of the Church in all the choices She makes, must even be echoed in the governance of the Church by all the choices which the Sacred Hierarchy makes.

A Church which does not observe Her own laws, thus, can never be the Church which proclaims the Mystery of the Epiphany; and for this reason, corruption in the Church is an abominable denial of the truth of all that the Epiphany represents.

Hence, it is most appropriate, once again to affirm that the facts which surround the “Team Bergoglio” scandal and its consequences in law merit in the most extreme and supreme manner the resolution of the doubts and questions raised.

For this reason, the From Rome blog will now summarize the Canonical Case against “Team Bergoglio” and show why the validity of the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is ostensibly invalidated thereby, and this with a high probability that the contrary is not true.  A summary of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal as well as those blog posts from the From Rome blog can be found in our Chronology of Reports on Team Bergoglio, which is updated regularly. The facts contained in the articles listed in this Chronology, will now be summarized for the facility of the reader:

The crime against UDG 81

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in the ninth chapter of his biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, says that 8 Cardinals conspired to and did succeed in promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio by means of seeking vote-promises from 25 Cardinal electors to be cast in the first balloting of the Conclave on March 12, 2013.  From the text of Ivereigh, it can be supposed that of the 8 conspirators, 2-3 were not electors.  In accord with the terms of the papal law, Universi Dominic Gregis (UDG) paragraph 81, all pacts, agreements or promises forged under any kind of obligation, however light or strong, merit for the participants who are electors the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae.  The terms of UDG 81 indicate clearly that the excommunication is ipso facto, that is imposed in the very act of the transgression. Dr. Ivereigh, on March 12, 2013 in a BBC broadcast admitted to have met the alleged ring-leader of the campaign, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; Ivereigh further confesses in the same BBC appearance that all agreements regarding voting are forbidden by the papal law.  The Cardinal in a newspaper interview on Sept. 12, 2013 admitted to being the head of the campaign and that Pope Francis knew this and thanked him for it on the day after the election; the Cardinal also confirmed that as of March 12, 2013 Cardinal Bergoglio knew he was going to be a candidate, and that he would make a strong showing on the first ballot. As regards these claims, none of the Cardinals implicated by name have substantially or totally denied them, since they first came to public knowledge, six weeks ago, on Nov. 23, 2014. (cf. The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials).

The penalties in virtue of Canon 1329 expand to Cardinal Bergoglio

In accord with canon 1329, all Cardinal electors who assisted in suchwise, as the crime could not have not be accomplished without them, are also punished with the same kind of excommunication.  This includes Cardinal Bergoglio, since it is morally impossible that he did not know of the nature of the campaign, when he could have stopped it by merely communicating his abhorrence for the perpetration of a crime.  Dr. Ivereigh in a recent video interview admits that Cardinal Bergoglio came to Rome for the Conclave with the desire to be a candidate. His insistence to purchase undergarments the day after election, may also argue that he was aware that the manner of his election would incriminate him unless he showed himself free of any intention to be elected.  To hold that Bergoglio was unaware of the nature of the campaign would be to hold that he never talked to any of his supporters prior to the closed sessions of the Conclave; that he did not take control of his own election, that he did not seek to obtain the papacy, that he did not expect to be elected.

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio had by 78 votes

According to reports, Cardinal Bergoglio obtained 16 votes in the first round of voting, and won the election on the last ballot of March 13, 2013 with 78 votes, that is only 2 votes more than the necessary 2/3 majority to win (76). The actual numbers are known to the Cardinal Electors and those who assisted them in the Sistine Chapel on March 12-13, 2013, all of whom, however, are bound by oath not to reveal the information, without explicit permission of the Pope. The numbers reported come from apparent indiscretions, made by individuals, following the euphoria of Pope Francis’ election.

Canon 171 invalidates the election by reason of the violation of UDG 81

According to the norm of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors cannot be tallied; and if they are tallied as part of the required number for victory, then in accord with canon 171 §2, the election is null and void.  This canon in §1, °3 cites those excommunicated by judicial sentence or decree; canon 20 specifies that all papal laws such as UDG are general decrees; the Latin text of UDG 81 uses the same verb of imposition specified as a condition for canon 171 §1, ° 3 (innodare).  Thus there is no doubt that canon 171 invalidates papal elections in which the number of votes necessary for election (2/3 majority) is obtained by counting 16 votes from excommunicated electors, as appears to be the case in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.  While it is possible that some of the original 16 votes cast in the first round were not promised, it is morally improbable that less than 2 were.

What must now be done

The case having attained a sufficient level of probity according to its facti species, that is, according to the appearance of the facts, it must be judged by the competent authority.

Since the case regards the invalidity of the election, the validity of such a judgement must itself be secured in such wise that no matter the outcome of the judgement, the result will be obtained by a method in which all parties agree is lawful, legitimate, licit and valid.

If Cardinal Bergoglio was validly elected, then as Pope his authority would be necessary to resolve the matter.  If he was not validly elected, the Sacred College of Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 can resolve the matter.

Hence, to judge the case of the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” it seems wise to propose the following:

  1. That the Pope convoke to consistory all  the Cardinals, both those who were electors and those who were non-electors in the conclave of 2013, with the Cardinals created since the election of Pope Francis in attendance but remaining silent and not voting, by their own free decision.
  2. That the Pope in consistory express, in humility, his willingness to abdicate if it should be found that his election was invalid.
  3. That the Pope in consistory grant to all the Cardinals assembled, release from their vow of secrecy regarding all affairs of the Conclave, so that they might speak freely.
  4. That the Cardinals agree by unanimous vote, that the successor to Pope Francis, in the eventuality of his abdication or invalidation, grant to all Cardinals the same release from their vow.
  5. That the Cardinals be called by the Dean of the College to give individual testimony as to whether they were asked to promise their vote for any specific Cardinal.
  6. That the Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 determine whether the testimony puts in doubt the validity of the election of 2013, and by unanimous decision judge whether the doubt is sufficient to harm the unity of the Church.
  7. That Pope Francis confirm whatsoever they determine.
  8. That Pope Francis, in the case of a positive determination, abdicate his office by written decree in the presence of the entire Sacred College; in the case of a negative determination, publish the findings of the investigation and grant the Cardinals freedom to speak about the entire affair in public, after the consistory is concluded, so as to confirm its authenticity and put all doubts to rest.

If those who know that any of the above facts or canonical interpretations are false or true, now remain silent, they will sin gravely either in regard to a lack of charity for the truth and reputation of those involved, or as accomplices after the fact.  If the competent authority does not judge the undisputed case, the Church Herself will be gravely injured in Her reputation and adhesion to the Mystery of the Epiphany, of the manifestation of the Eternal Light and Truth, incarnate among us.

How “Team Bergoglio” managed the news on “Team Bergoglio”

Pope Francis thanks and recognizes Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, alleged leader of Team Bergoglio (Catholic Herald, Sept 12, 2014: Online edition - Screen Shot by From Rome blog)
Pope Francis thanks and recognizes Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, alleged leader of Team Bergoglio (Catholic Herald, Sept 12, 2013: Online edition – Screen Shot by From Rome blog)

A CASE IN POINT OF ORWELL’S 1984 SCENARIO:  WHERE TRUTH IS NO LONGER A STATEMENT ON REALITY, BUT A STATEMENT GIVEN BY SPOKESMEN, NEWS-OUTLETS

Rome — Dec. 28, 2014:  Since the news broke about the “Team Bergoglio” Scandal, the From Rome Blog has maintained a Chronology of the News Reports on the scandal for the utility of its readers and of journalists covering the story.  A study of that Chronology demonstrates one of the key aspects of a thought-controlled society, depicted in George Orwell’s novel, 1984:  namely, how the general public has accepted a new norm of truth.

In a normal human society, truth is a statement which correctly regards and justly describes the reality spoken of.  But in 1984, truth is the present content of what spokesmen of the government controlled media say about the news.

These are 2 radically opposed notions of truth.  Yet, while many scoff at the idea that the fictitious society posed by Orwell in his book, might, in fact, be coming into existence in our own present age, none can deny from the study of the news regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal that several elements of the George Orwell scenario are central to the news reports and media reaction on that story.

First, because as the From Rome Blog has demonstrated, the content of Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations made in his book is much more extensive than the denials and reports given in the press. This shows that the journalists covering the story have not even bothered to read Ivereigh’s book, which should have been their first object of investigation.

Second, because as our Chronology demonstrates, the chief news reports on the scandal have focused on what “Team Bergoglio”‘s spokesmen have said about the allegations, without any investigation to corroborate these claims by the press.

Third, because the news reports or essays which have been most widely disseminated are in fact those written by individuals who are mentioned as endorsing Ivereigh’s book on the jacket of the American edition.

Fourth, as can be seen by a Google Search, Catholic sites have been content simply to republish their essays or articles aimed at discouraging the layman’s interest in the story of the scandal.

Fifth, one of the most influential “news” sites funded by George Soros has added its voice to that of “Team Bergoglio” by reprinting the story run by one of the “Team Bergoglio” defenders, so as to markedly indicate that those who are interested further in this story should be excluded from polite society.

Nevertheless, the questions remain, and journalists have not done their job.  It seems sufficient for those journalists accredited by the Vatican Press Office, that Il Sismografo has spoken and further questions one should not even dare to ask:  thus their silence since December 2, when Tosatti and Zenit were the last to mention the story, while other notables have in private communication with the editor of the From Rome blog censured further investigation as “absurd” or “ridiculous”.

The communists, socialists, environmentalists, homosexuals, progressives and Freemasons are quite satisfied with the Papacy of Cardinal Bergoglio: seeing that they have a dominant control of the mass media in the modern world, there is simply no self-serving political reason to give the “Team Bergoglio” story further attention.

And that is newsworthy of itself, for those who still have any interest in objective truth, transparency or justice in government.

No need to mention, therefore, for those familiar with how Google censors the results of searches,* that from the moment Fr. Lombardi spoke about the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, links from Google’s search engine to the From Rome blog about “Team Bergoglio” have faded or disappeared entirely (you can normally only find them by going to the end of your search results and clicking “repeat the search with omitted results included“).  Nor, that Fox News, whose former employee, Greg Burke° works as Senior Communications officer for the Vatican Secretary of State, did 2 news pieces praising Ivereigh’s book and defending “Team Bergoglio” from charges of impropriety.

_________________

*  In recent years, George Soros has been an important share holder in Google Corporation. Soros is the founder of the Open Society Institute, which promotes liberal progressive democracies; he has also been implicated in voter intimidation and influencing in the USA 2008 election which gave the US Presidency to Barack Obama, a self-declared native of Kenya and son of a Kenyan Commonwealth citizen. Evidently for Soros, manipulating elections is a legitimate means to arrive at an “open society”.

° Burke, a curious fellow, almost never replies to tweets, but on his Twitter timeline he has, in the past, made a point by retweeting a Tweet in which a Google story on the awarding of a certain notable transvestite-singer with a European prize, was lauded with a single word: “progress”!

The “Team Bergoglio” Scandal

Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, venerated for centuries at Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)
Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)

The From Rome blog wishes A blessed and Holy Christmas to all its readers!

Christmas remains the Primordial Feast which established the Catholic Church
as a holy and just family:
For this reason, there is no greater sacrilege to the Church than a scandal which touches Her unity
and adhesion to the visible point of Her unity, the Roman Papacy.
Hence, the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” is something every Catholic in the world, this day,
should learn more about, and demand answers from the Hierarchy.

Rome — Dec. 25, 2014: Since the scandal regarding Team Bergoglio broke, the From Rome blog has assiduously followed the news and studied what the consequences have been.  On that account more than 25,000 visitors from more than 120 countries have visited this blog to find the news that was not being summarized or published elsewhere.

“Team Bergoglio” is the name given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman to His Eminence, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, ex-Archbishop of Westminster, England, to the group of Cardinals who campaigned for Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave.

The Scandalous consequences of the revelations of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, can be summed up thus: Dr. Ivereigh has written a book alleging as many as 30 cardinals did that which is apparently a violation of the papal law on conclaves, on which account they would be ipso facto excommunicated, Cardinal Bergoglio included, and the election of the latter by 2013 Conclave be null and void and of no effect. — As of this date, no substantial denial has been made by anyone of the accused, and Dr. Ivereigh has not substantially withdrawn, changed, or altered what he wrote.

To continue to assist Catholics and journalists world-wide who wish to know more about this scandal, we present here a summary and links through which readers can grasp the basic and detailed facts of the case which has arisen.

First, our article, The Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”, contains the master-list of all the news reports of note and blog posts, videos, audios, tweets, etc. which regard crucial information or analysis of the story: this list is in Chronological order according to the date the information was published or presented.

But since the Chronology has already grown to 8 pages in length, for those wishing to grasp the facts, we suggest the following articles:

  1. The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of Radical Pope, which explains just what Dr. Austen Ivereigh has written in his new book, of the same title, about who did what before and during the Conclave of 2013.
  2. The Improbity of the denials by “Team Bergoglio”, which explains just what some of the Cardinals, alleged by Ivereigh to have engaged in vote-canvassing, have and have not denied. An analysis which shows the probability that Cardinal Bergoglio consented to and/or organized the effort.
  3. The Monstrosity of Allegations against “Team Bergoglio” = Cardinal Bergoglio is not the pope, which explains the canonical consequences of the violation of the Papal law on conclaves, which Ivereigh’s text apparently convicts Cardinal Bergoglio of.
  4. 4 Ways the “Team Bergoglio” revelations undo Francis’ Papacy, which is an editorial explaining the grave implications for the Church stemming from the scandal, be it true or not.
  5. No, your Eminence, the Church is not a tyranny!, which rebuts the gross indifference of 1 Cardinal of the Roman Church to the scandal and pointedly indicates the grave Crisis into which the Catholic Church has been placed by the undenied allegations.

The other articles which reports facts of lesser interest, though important of themselves, can be found in the Chronology article link above.

Antonio Socci speaks on “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Antonio Socci
Antonio Socci

Rome — Dec. 21, 2014:  Antonio Socci, noted Italian journalist and author of the book, Non è Francesco (a best-seller in Italy, which details the events and facts which he believes invalidate the renunciation made by Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Cardinal Bergoglio), spoke about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in an editorial published today in the Italian newspaper, Libero (republished on his FaceBook page; reprinted on his blog, Lo Straniero, i. e. The Outsider).

Here is our unofficial English translation of the first part of that blog-post, entitled, Abbattere tutti i muri? Va bene, Papa Bergoglio, cominciamo a spazzar via il “Muro di Silenzio” della Sistina, facendo emergere la verità sul Conclave….  A full translation in the German Language is available from Kirche & Realitat!

_ _ _

Tearing down walls? Ok, Pope Bergoglio: let’s begin to do away with the “Wall of Silence” in the Sistine Chapel, to reveal the truth of the Conclave

Dec. 21:  It was Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, thirty years ago, who proposed the abolition of the secrecy of the Conclave, by which the Cardinal-princes are obliged under oath regarding the election which takes place in the Sistine Chapel.  He proposed this because that norm — far from standing guard over the sacred — risked (and risks) becoming a cover for profane things (the Cardinal adjoined, then, in the ’80’s, that one should pray very much for the Conclaves of the future so that no external influence of any sect might intervene therein).

It is paradoxical that a proposal so innovative and democratic would be advanced by a prelate who was considered to be the leader of the “Conservatives”.  And that in the 30 years since no prelate, considered to be “progressive”, has taken it up and made it his own.

TRANSPARENCY

Today, if Pope Bergoglio were to take it up, that is, abolish the secrecy, he’d have the ability to demonstrate with deeds how much he is truly desirous of transparency and openness in the life of the Church, by liberating Her from obsolete prohibitions.

Will the Pope who has come to be hailed as “revolutionary”, be less an innovator than a “conservative” Cardinal? Will he wish to bolster the “wall of the Sistine Chapel”, after having asked the entire world to tear down all walls (in Cuba and elsewhere)?

Besides, Pope Bergoglio is sounding out every day against those modern “scribes and pharisees” who want to mummify all the old rules and old laws and prohibitions, by opposing change, transparency and openness to the world.

Let’s see if his words are followed with deeds, at least in regard to these norms which are entirely capable of modification, because they are ecclesiastical laws (while not even a Pope could modify the matters discussed in the recent Synod, because they pertain to the Word of God; though they were put into discussion by the Modernist faction).

One feels particularly the necessity of knocking down this “Sistine wall” — and this with urgency — above all in regard to the Conclave of 2013, concerning which rumors and questions grow daily instead of passing away.

THE MYSTERY OF 2013

As the case, which has broken out in England, shows — and from there it has leaped to America and Italy — in regard to the revelations of Austen Ivereigh in his book, “The Great Reformer”.

The book, a biography about Bergoglio, in an entirely positive light as regards the Argentine pope, contains some lines which skin him alive.  One has to remember that Ivereigh is not the last man to arrive at the party, he was the spokesman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and has held positions of trust in Catholic Media in England.

He, thus, speaks of the existence of a “Team Bergoglio”, made up, precisely, of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor, Kasper, Danneels and Lehmann to promote the Argentine prelate to the papacy.  The work, which is to have begun after the renunciation of Benedict XVI, would have had the consent of Bergoglio himself.  A canonical case arises from this, because there are those who have sustained that all of this might put into doubt the validity of the election on March 13th.  There have followed polemics, precisions and denials which have co-involved even Fr. Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman.

In my opinion, the facts cited in the book by the Englishman do not put into discussion, per se, the legitimacy of the election.

Nevertheless, they cause to be revealed that there is something of a battle which was engaged in behind the 5 ballots in the 2013 Conclave (from the renunciation of Benedict to the election of Bergoglio) and who were the protagonists of that.

But it makes one recall a similar controversy which broke out.  Perhaps this is only the tip of an iceberg? Are there any other secrets? Among the various rumors and speculations, for example, remains the as-of-yet unexplained delay of Pope Bergoglio’s salute from the Loggia of St. Peter’s.

———————–

In the other half of the essay (not translated here), Socci speaks of other anomalies in the 2013 Conclave and the non-reaction to his book.

Socci’s entire piece was republished by Libero’s blog, on Dec. 22, 2014.

For a complete Chronology of reports and videos regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, see click here. That the allegations of Ivereigh are substantial and have grave canonical consequences has been explained here, here and here and here.

2 American Prelates endorse Narrative in “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Rome — Dec. 21, 2014:  Two American prelates, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan and Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, have endorsed Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s new book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.

Cardinal Dolan
Cardinal Dolan

The endorsements are found on the rear of the jacket to the American edition of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, and read in part:

“… The many fascinating events and challenges recounted in the Great Reformer demonstrate that the key to understanding Pope Francis and his vision for the Church begins above all by recognizing his unfailing faith …”

Timothy Michale Cardinal Donal
Archbishop of New York

_ _ _

Cardinal Chaput
Cardinal Chaput

The next, towards the bottom of the jacket:

“… In a growing list of books on the first Latin American pope, Ivereigh’s is uniquely well informed …”

Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Two other notables also endorse the narrative in the book, in the same place:  John L. Allen, Jr., associate editor of the website, Crux, and journalist for the Boston Globe; George Weigel; Fr. Thomas Reese, S. J.; Fr. Thomas Roscica, C. S. B.; and David Gibson, reporter for Religion News Service (RNS).

Presumably all of these read the book before endorsing it.  Cardinal Dolan was an Elector in the Conclave of 2013, and knew intimately what went on during the general congregations and final closed door sessions. Dolan is implicated by Dr. Ivereigh in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal to the extent that he says that the American Cardinals were specifically targeted for vote-promises. Allen and Gibson have both done reports on the web defending Ivereigh’s credibility.

Unfortunately, as of today, the From Rome blog has noticed that the American edition is no longer being offered by sale by Amazon.com, though that site notes that it is still available from other vendors.

Cardinal Napier speaks about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Per una traduzione del articolo in italiano, qui

Dec. 17, 2014:  Many have wondered why, as of yet, the Sacred College of Cardinals has not responded to allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh regarding the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, to whom he attributes the activities of as many as 7 Cardinals in the organized campaign to give Cardinal Bergoglio a strong showing in the first ballot of the 2013 Conclave for pope.

Recently, however, a noted Catholic writer from the United Kingdom, Paul Priest, has pestered his Eminence Cardinal Napier of South Africa on Twitter, to a sufficient degree, as to obtain some response.

Here below are those tweets, faithfully reproduced from the Twitter feeds of Cardinal Napier and Paul Priest (OTSOTA) as well as other tweeters:

Dialoguing with a Cardinal

 

NOTE:  UDG stands for the papal law on conclaves, Universi Dominic Gregis, which in paragraph n. 5, grants to the Sacred College of Cardinals the sole and exclusive right to resolve any questions and controversies arising regarding the interpretation of the rules.

The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials

Feast of Santa Lucia, Rome, Dec. 13, 2014:  The crux of the scandal surrounding “Team Bergoglio” — Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s nickname for the group of Cardinals who canvassed for votes on behalf of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before and during the Conclave of 2013 — is, without doubt, the curious denials of the testimony Ivereigh gives in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.

These curious denials are what sparked the interest of the Catholic world.  And their inconsistencies have fueled, not quieted, the speculation, since they are widely seen not as transparent statements, but as politically motivated misinformation.

The From Rome blog, however, mindful of the duty of objectivity, in all of its reporting regarding “Team Bergoglio” has taken as an a priori presumption, that neither Dr. Ivereigh nor those alleged to be part of “Team Bergoglio” are not telling the truth.  For that reason, to round out our coverage, the From Rome blog will now put to scrutiny what these denials say and do not say, so as to weigh their probity.

The denial of Ivereigh given by Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

DenialThe first official denial of Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative came from Maggie Doherty, the spokeswoman for the retired Cardinal-Archbishop of Westminster, England:  his Eminence Msgr. Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.  That denial, published in the form of a letter to the editor of the Monday Daily Telegraph, on November 25, 2014, can be seen to the right (Note that the Telegraph’s editors have added the lead-title, “Papal plot”).

As the From Rome blog demonstrated yesterday, the most probable reason for the denial, as given, was to specifically negate the allegation of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, on p. 355, which said that the members of “Team Bergoglio”, first of all, sought the agreement of Cardinal Bergoglio to their vote-canvassing campaign.

This is because in  Catholic Church law (Codex iuris canonicis of 1983),  canon 1329 extends punishment for all acts criminalized with excommunication, to all accomplices of those acts, without which the criminalized act or acts could not be accomplished.

Consenting to a vote-canvassing campaign on one’s behalf is the most culpable act which an accomplice can make in it, since without such consent, the campaigners would never have reasonably considered to have undertaken such a campaign.

Canvassing for votes is specifically criminalized by the Papal Law, Universi Dominici Gregis, (here after UDG), of Pope John Paul II, published in 1996, as this blog has explained in detail in its article, “The Great Reformer”.

The improbity of the First Denial

Improbity refers to the inability of a person or testimony to be considered honest.  Of itself, what has improbity is not necessarily false, but in its totality it remains improbable, or, more precisely, aims to affirm what is improbable.  What has improbity is not untrue under every aspect, it can merely be an exaggeration or misleading or misdirecting.

Let’s, presume, as stated, that the letter by Maggie Doherty is true in everything it says. We know from Dr. Ivereigh’s twitter feed, that he regards the statement of Maggie Doherty as emanating from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor. In our previous report, Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope, the From Rome blog speculated on the form and occasion and method of this denial. Now, let us consider it from another point of view: what it says and does not say, and whether the Cardinal could reasonably be considered to have given a testimony which has forensic value.

First of all, one must recognize that in denying the narrative presented in Dr. Ivereigh’s book there are several great problems: the first of which is that Dr. Ivereigh is the former personal secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, and if Ivereigh knew anything about the campaign in 2013, the public will presume that he had all this information either from the Cardinal or had it as confirmed by the Cardinal.  So in a sense, the Cardinal will appear to many to be denying himself.

Second, one can only give testimony to what one has seen or heard or did.

Third, one denies only what one denies. And when accused of many things, all which has not been denied, is implicitly or tacitly affirmed.

So, let’s examine the text of the Cardinal’s denial.  In the first sentence, he states that he is not denying what Ivereigh wrote, only aiming at dispelling any misunderstanding that might arise from reading Dr. Ivereigh’s book.  This initial statement greatly weakens the Cardinal’s statement: in a word, he denies nothing of the narrative presented, neither as regards names mentioned or as regards the chronology of events or the acts participated in.  He does not even deny the conversation which Dr. Ivereigh attributes to him, in asking Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to the campaign.

In the second sentence he denies that he, or as far as he knows the other Cardinals, made any approach to Cardinal Bergoglio to seek his assent as a candidate.  In this statement, the opposite error occurs, for unlike the first in which he denies nothing and concedes all, in this statement he denies too much.  It would have been sufficient to deny with greater precision, but to deny that Cardinal Bergoglio was never asked by any Cardinal regarding his willingness to serve is beyond belief. And since “assent” regards an act of the mind, “consent” to that of the will, and since it is consent that makes one an accomplice, the Cardinal may be saying that he did not seek Cardinal Bergoglio’s assent, but did seek his consent.

Finally, the Cardinal can only deny what he knows: hence, since he cannot possibly know everything which every other of the named Cardinals did or said, his denial in that regard has no forensic value, except to exculpate himself in a conspiracy with Cardinals regarding seeking such a consent.  He has not denied that bishops, priests, deacons, laymen or religious or even journalists were used as intermediaries to obtain such consent.

What is the truth? Until the Cardinal is questioned by journalists or fellow Cardinals in consistory, we may never know.  But it appears from the second sentence that the Cardinal has affirmed that the campaign was a vote-canvassing / vote-promissing endeavor, because in denying too much in the second sentence, he implicitly affirms Ivereigh’s allegation as to the nature of the campaign.

For these reasons, assuming everything the Cardinal said is true, then one seems constrained to conclude that the Cardinal has denied nothing, but confirmed everything. And this is where the improbity arises, because a denial should deny specifics and the totality of an accusation.  One can understand, however, that the Cardinal, being a man of God from his earliest days, would never deny what was true, directly speaking, for that would be dishonest.

The denial given by the Four Cardinals through Fr. Lombardi

On December 1, 2014, with growing interest in the story regarding “Team Bergoglio”, the blog, Il Sismografo publishes in Italian, P. Lombardi su presunti comportamenti di alcuni cardinali nell’ultimo Conclave, which contained Fr. Lombardi’s statement on the affair.  Our English translation read as follows (1st the editors preface, then Lombardi):

In view of what is circulating regarding the recent Conclave, we asked Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office.  Here is Fr. Lombardi’s response:

In a book recently published about Pope Francis, written by Austen Ivereigh in English with the title, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope (Henry Holy & Co.), and in Italian as, Tempo di misericordia. Vita di Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Mondadori), there is affirmed that in the days preceding the Conclave, four Cardinals:  Murphy O’Connor, Kasper, Daneels e Lehmann, “first secured Bergoglio’s assent” to his eventual election, and “then they got to work” with a campaign to promote his election.

I can declare that all of the four Cardinals, just named, explicitly deny this description of the facts, both as much as regards the request of prior consent on the part of Cardinal Bergoglio, and as much as regards the conduction of a campaign for his election, and (that) they desire to be known that they are stupefied and opposed to what has been published.

The improbity of the Second Denial

In the first part of Fr. Frederico Lombardi’s official denial, he casts a net about too little: because he denies only the activity of 4 Cardinals, when, as this blog has shown, the text itself names 7 and 2 other suspected accomplices, and implicates as many as 30 in the crimes of vote-asking / vote-promising.  Therefore, his statement must be understood, authentically, of not regarding the activities of these others Cardinals, nor of any intermediaries they might have used, nor any other details of Ivereigh’s account.

In the second part of Fr. Lombardi’s statement, too little and too much is denied.  Too little, because, as this blog has shown, it is not a crime to seek the consent of a candidate to be a candidate. Nor is it a crime to profess willingness to be a candidate.  But it is a crime to conduct a vote-canvassing campaign to promote a candidate (this is a violation of UDG 81), and it is a punishable offense to give consent to such a campaign on one’s own behalf, with knowledge that the campaign has this nature.  Too much, because it is not a crime to conduct a campaign on behalf of another Cardinal.  Since the 4 Cardinals, through Fr. Lombardi, have not denied that it was a vote-canvassing campaign, they implicitly have affirmed it.  Since they have not denied that Cardinal Bergoglio gave his consent, they implicitly also affirm that. They have not denied that they were accomplices, only that they were leaders conducting it. They have not denied that they promised votes or solicited the promise of votes.

Furthermore, Cardinal Bergoglio did not have to be asked to give his consent; it is sufficient that he gave it spontaneously, willingly and with knowledge of the nature of the campaign, which nature and its existence none of the Cardinals have denied.

For this reason, this second denial also has great improbity, because it has the form of a denial, but when reasonable interpreted according to the above stated method, it can be considered to be a confession.  For, when accused, the accused must rebut the nature of the crime and the acts committed, if he disputes one or the other or both.

In conclusion, it appears from both denials, that these four of the seven members alleged to be part of “Team Bergoglio” are in fact affirming all which is necessary to indict Cardinal Bergoglio for the crime of being an accomplice in the vote-canvassing campaign. They also leave open the possibility that Cardinal Bergoglio, himself, was the ringleader or initiator, though no one has accused Pope Francis of this.

The Monstrosity of the Allegations against “Team Bergoglio” = Cardinal Bergoglio is not the Pope

Rome, Dec. 12, 1014:  The monstrosity of the allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope boggle the mind.  As this blog has noted in its previous report, the text of the narrative in chapter 9 of that book, implicates as many as 30 Cardinal electors in activity which seems likely to violate the papal law on Conclaves, Universi Dominici Gregis (here after UDG), promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

In that law, in paragraph 81, all forms of vote canvassing which include vote promising were punished with automatic excommunication (latae sententiae).  Yet canons 1329 and 1331 expand that penalty and indicate the consequences, even if the validity of the Conclave’s vote for Cardinal Bergoglio is not put in question by means of canon 171 §2, as this blog has speculated from the beginning. Let’s take a look then at these 2 canons.

The effects of Canon 1329: not only Cardinal Electors, but all accomplices

The From Rome blog has noted in its reports that the punishment was leveled only against Cardinals who could vote. However, the monstrosity of the allegation grows from the fact that Canon 1329 § 2 extends the effects of the penalty issued in UDG 81.

Canon 1329, § 2 reads, in the Latin:

Can. 1329§2. In poenam latae sententiae delicto adnexam incurrunt complices,qui in lege vel praecepto non nominantur, si sine eorum opera delictum patratum non esset, et poena sit talis naturae, ut ipsos afficere possit; secus poenis ferendae sententiae puniri possunt.

The official English translation of this, from the Vatican website is:

§2. Accomplices who are not named in a law or precept incur a latae sententiae penalty attached to a delict if without their assistance the delict would not have been committed, and the penalty is of such a nature that it can affect them; otherwise, they can be punished by ferendae sententiae penalties.

Thus, not only are the Cardinal Electors who sought vote-promises and those Cardinal Electors who promised votes in danger of excommunication from UDG 81, but also all those who assisted in this, such as:

  1. The aged Italian Cardinal, whom Ivereigh alleges tallied the votes, since without his assistance the conspiracy could not measure its success and by means of this count were encouraged to engage in the alleged illicit activities.
  2. A Cardinal-non-Elector, such as the alleged ring-leader, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, since in providing direction and organization for a conspiracy, the head of it assists in a manner in which the crimes could not have been committed as regards specific acts or their numerosity.  This is true even if the head of a conspiracy does not do the act which is criminalized.
  3. Any Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, or layman who assisted as messengers or solicitors between those asking for votes and those promising them.
  4.  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, inasmuch as if he knew of the conspiracy, could have prevented it by signifying his unwillingness to allow such a campaign to go forward, which he could have done by merely threatening to reveal it during the Conclave; for knowledge of a conspiracy from which one benefits along with omission of all acts sufficient to bring such a conspiracy to naught or gravely obstruct it, is complicity before or during the act.  And no such conspiracy could succeed, without such at least tacit consent, since every Cardinal Elector upon being asked for his vote, could have confirmed the consent of Cardinal Bergoglio to such a campaign by asking him personally and directly.  That the alleged campaign go forward, therefore argues that it had some sort of consent from the Cardinal.

This might explain why in both denials of Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the spokesman for the Holy Father, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, S. J., have explicitly denied that Cardinal Bergoglio was asked by any of the Cardinals for his consent to the vote-campaigning.

The enormity of this implication is seen when we apply the effects of Canon 1331.

Canon 1331 requires that an excommunicated Pope-elect never exercise or hold office

Canon 1331 explains the effects of all excommunications latae sententiae. In the official English version, from the Vatican website this canon reads:

Can. 1331 §1. An excommunicated person is forbidden:

  1. to have any ministerial participation in celebrating the sacrifice of the Eucharist or any other ceremonies of worship whatsoever;
  2. to celebrate the sacraments or sacramentals and to receive the sacraments;
  3. to exercise any ecclesiastical offices, ministries, or functions whatsoever or to place acts of governance.

§ 2. If the excommunication has been imposed or declared, the offender:*

  1. who wishes to act against the prescript of §1, n. 1 must be prevented from doing so, or the liturgical action must be stopped unless a grave cause precludes this;
  2. invalidly places acts of governance which are illicit according to the norm of §1, n. 3;
  3. is forbidden to benefit from privileges previously granted;
  4. cannot acquire validly a dignity, office, or other function in the Church;
  5.  does not appropriate the benefits of a dignity, office, any function, or pension, which the offender has in the Church.

Which means, that if Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations are true, and if Cardinal Bergoglio had knowledge of the conspiracy and expressly or tacitly consented to it, then he would be incapable of holding the office of Pope, or making any acts which pertain to that office, such as nominate bishops, call Synods, or name Cardinals!

______________________

* That penalties of excommunication which are leveled automatically (latae sententiae) by a general decree are imposed in the very act of the commission of the criminalized activity, can be had from canon 1314. Some canonists wish to restrict the term “imposed” [imponere] only to penalties leveled by a specific written decree naming the individual(s) — but that violates the signification of the Latin verb, which means “to place upon” (in the same sense as we say in English, “leveled”), not “declared or indicated in by a specific decree” — not to mention it also ignores the patent distinction made in canon 1314.  In any case, the Church could not endure such a situation, and the Sacred College of Cardinals in a special consistory would have the necessity, in virtue of the authority granted them in UDG 5, of resolving the matter and/or proceeding to a new election.

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope

As many as 30 Cardinals implicated in Vote-Canvassing Scandal

Per una traduzione Italiana

December 9, 2014:  Now, in the midst of the scandalous affair of “Team Bergoglio”, when the Catholic world is aghast at not only the allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer, but also at the inconsistencies in and contradictions of the denials of his allegations, which denials have issued from the most authoritative sources: the official spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the Pope’s spokesman, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, S. J., it will be most useful to scrutinize the testimony given by Dr. Ivereigh in his book.

The From Rome blog, having obtained a hard-copy of the American edition of the book, it can now do so; but so as to clarify the legal implications and the probity of testimony, let us proceed in a forensic manner. This will require, that we first consider the acts criminalized, the confession by the head of the conspiracy, and the corroborating evidence which supports the probity of what we shall study from Dr. Ivereigh’s book.

The Papal Decree which criminalizes Vote-Canvassing

In the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1996, there is forbidden under pain of automatic excommunication (i.e. immediately imposed, without necessity of declaration) the canvassing for votes.  The crime is described there thus in the official and original Latin text:

81. Cardinales electores praeterea abstineant ab omnibus pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus aliisque quibusvis obligationibus, quibus astringi possint ad suffragium cuidam vel quibusdam dandum aut recusandum.

And, according to From Rome‘s more precise English translation of the official Latin text:

81. Let the Cardinal electors, moreover, abstain from all pacts, agreements, promises and any other obligations you like, by which they might be constrained to give or refuse support (suffragium) for anyone (sing. & plural). 

To understand this prohibition, let us note that Pope John Paul II was personally very scandalized by the shenanigans which marked the conclave in which he himself was elected.  To obstruct this in the future, he established a penalty for that most common form of human prudence in elections, vote-canvassing: this is because, as one can see in the papal law, UDG, he insists that the Cardinal Electors proceed in a religious manner and after much prayer to select the man most pleasing to almighty God and useful for the Church in the present hour (cf. the paragraphs which precede and follow, n. 81).

Thus, the Latin text, by which Pope John Paul II describes the activities to be forbidden, contains very important words: the first is all, the next describe the activities pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus (pacts, agreements, promises), but the last throw a net around all kinds of human activity by which there is any moral obligation arising:  aliisque quibusvis obligationibus (and any other obligations you like).

Thus, let us consider the moral act of urging the election of a prospective candidate:  First, one must have some confidence that the Candidate is suitable & willing (# 1: the agreement & pact); then, that one must recruit those willing to assist in canvassing (agreement & pact) in such wise that they also pledge support (# 2: promise & pact).  The members of the vote-canvassing team, then, communicate by word or signs with prospective electors to present the reasons why the said candidate merits the electors support or vote (proposal of an agreement); and obtain some word or sign of agreement (# 3: agreement & promise or obligation) that he is worth of the electors’ votes.  Each of these three steps is criminalized by the Papal Law.  Since the Law does not exclude, but rather includes, all kinds of obligations, those which are grave, such as under a vow, or those which are light — which are signaled, for example, by even the wink of the eye — all are forbidden.

Note that since the Papal law is wide in what it forbids, not only is it a crime to promise a vote, it is a crime to join in a conspiracy to canvass for such votes, since this is tantamount to promising to vote for one candidate and not vote for other candidates. However, note that the papal law only penalizes voting Cardinals.  Cardinals too old to vote, are not thus penalized, though they are collaborating in the solicitation of votes.

Once one has canvassed for votes, one has knowledge that the said candidate will achieve such and such in the first ballots, and confidence that he will be successful or not in that. This allows one to tally the votes promised.

The Confession of the Crime

That Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, confessed to having such confidence, was reported by the Catholic Herald on Sept. 12, 2013; in that same report he admits that Cardinal Bergoglio knew that he was being put forth as a candidate prior to the initiation of the Conclave.  He also admits that after the Conclave, Cardinal Bergoglio personally recognized the English Cardinal’s leadership in the campaign for getting him elected. In the said interview, the English Cardinal confesses both knowledge and confidence, which could not have been had, reasonably, except by means of vote-canvassing in the strict sense of the term.

The Corroboratory Testimony & Evidence

Note that the mere fact that “Team Bergoglio”‘s self-confessed and papally-recognized leader was Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, an aged Cardinal who was NOT an elector, argues for the awareness by other members of “Team Bergoglio” of the existence of the penalty imposed in UDG 81.  Also, from the testimony given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, in his BBC appearance on March 12, 2013, at 17:03 PM, we know that Ivereigh and Murphy-O’Connor met beforehand to discuss the affairs of the Conclave; and that Ivereigh knew of the penalties imposed by UGD 81.  Since in recent days, Ivereigh has shown himself unaware of the implications of UDG 81, it can be further suspected that in March of 2013, he had this knowledge of UDG 81 from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.

The Narrative of the Conspiracy, according to Ivereigh

I strongly suggest you get a copy of Ivereigh’s book, because the testimony it contains will be of momentous historical worth for years to come. Let us now consider that evidence.

From the Chapter entitled, “Conclave” (Chapter 9, pp. 349-367), we have these allegations:

“The had learned their lesson from 2005”, top of p. 355 — Argues for motive and foreknowledge of necessity of making a strong showing for Cardinal Bergoglio in the first vote: but this cannot be accomplished without a vote-canvassing campaign, nor can it succeed unless the forbidden and criminalized activities are engaged in.

“They first secured his 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.” (ibid.) — This Jesuitical response is what you would expect from a Cardinal-Jesuit; nevertheless, such a statement is morally equivalent to a sign of will giving consent, and in the context of a proposal to launch a campaign, it is also morally equivalent to a pact.  This is an excommunicatable offense given the context of the offer of a campaign. A conscientious man, observant of the law of the conclave, would have added a sign that he repudiated an organized campaign, if only out of charity for the campaigners, who would thereby fall foul of the papal law.

The probity of what Ivereigh has just alleged, is very high, because no one initiates a campaign without the consent of the candidate; it would be to accuse “Team Bergoglio” of insanity, to hold that they did not ask for a sign to indicate his willingness.  And it is more uncharitable to accuse a sane Cardinal of madness, than of a worldly Cardinal of reasonable prudence.

Then Ivereigh includes in parenthesis, a citation which appears to be lifted from Cardinal-Murphy-O’Connor’s testimony to the Catholic Herald last year.  But the mere fact that these words are in parentheses, preserves the probity of the narrative from claims of hearsay evidence.

“Then they got to work touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man…” (ibid.) — This has been confirmed, in the case of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor and Cardinal O’Malley, in the Wall Street Journal report from August 6, 2013.  Dr. Ivereigh’s recent denials, do not deny this activity, which he, in retraction, characterizes now as “urging” Bergoglio as a candidate.

“… Their objective was to secure at least twenty-five votes for Bergoglio on the first ballot.  An ancient Italian cardinal kept the tally of how many votes they could rely on before the conclave started.” — This statement which has never been denied or repudiated on point, confirms the charge of a violation of UDG 81, without any wiggle-room, because you cannot tally votes, unless votes have been promised, and if they are promised, then the ones asking have sought them, and both parties have entered into some kind of obligation or pact or agreement to vote for a particular candidate in the first ballot, while not voting for all other candidates.

There you have it, a formal, explicit allegation of a formal explicit violation of UDG 81.

Dr. Ivereigh then speaks of the confidence they had regarding the 19 Cardinals from Latin America, and then adds:

“The Spanish cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of St. Mary Major in Rome and a former nuncio in Latin America, was vigorous in canvassing on Bergoglio’s behalf among the Iberian Iberian bloc.” (ibid.)— This allegation has never been denied by anyone, not even the Spanish Cardinal.

Ivereigh then names other Cardinal collaborators:  Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna and Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris.

He also names other Cardinals in suchwise as appears they participated in promising votes:  Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa and Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Finally, on p. 356-357, Dr. Ivereigh confirms this reading of the testimony he gives, by writing:

For this reason, and because the organizers of his campaign stayed carefully 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 vaticanisti believe there / was no organized pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected.

Dr. Ivereigh then confirms this statement, that there was an organized campaign, with footnote 10, which reads:

In his Francis: Pope of a New Word (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2013), ch. 3, the leading Vatican commentator Andrea Tornielli says that there were no “campaigns organized in advance” of the conclave for Bergoglio.  There was one.

Numerous Cardinals are implicated

Though, heretofore, there have been publicly implicated 4 Cardinals:  Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster, Danneels of Belgium, Kasper and Lehmann of Germany; the text of Ivereigh has named 3 others as team members: Schonborn of Vienna, Vingt-Trois of Paris and Santos Abril y Castello of St. Mary Major.

A total of 7 Cardinals in the team.

Two other Cardinals as suspect of promising votes, named explicitly: Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa,  and Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

But also, enormously, all the Cardinals of Spain and Latin America as potentially promising votes! That’s more than 20 others! — Not to count the African Cardinals.

In total, perhaps as many as 30 Cardinals, all participated: those who were electors, excommunicated even unto this day! *

Astounding!

More astounding is that key parts of this narrative have not, as of today, been denied by any of or all of the participants. The only facts denied are that the Four Cardinals asked Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to the vote-campaign, and the narrative presented by Dr. Ivereigh regarding them. Nothing has been denied by the others, and some alteration of the chronology of the timeline presented, might in fact be what is being implicitly affirmed by Lombardi’s denial.  The facts denied however are the those which the evidence presented above shows to have great probity.

________________________

FOOTNOTE

* Though, if any did not vote for Bergoglio in the first round of votes, one might argue that they did not oblige themselves.

===============

For a complete list of our coverage on Team Bergoglio and a list of reports from major news outlets the world over on it, see here.