Saturday, September 24, 2005

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Wild Portuguese cigar orgies in Vatican!!!

Well, no, not exactly. But the AP's Nicole Winfield does have some new information on the conclave that eleated Cardinal Ratzinger to Pope Benedict XVI:

A cardinal has broken his vow of secrecy and released his diary describing the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, revealing in a rare account that a cardinal from Argentina was the main challenger and almost blocked Benedict's election.

Excerpts of the anonymous diary, published Friday, show the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, led in each of the four ballots cast in the Sistine Chapel during the April 18-19 conclave. But Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, was in second place the whole time.

Most accounts of the conclave have said that the retired Milan archbishop, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, was the main challenger to Ratzinger, who became Benedict XVI after his election, and that a Third World pope was never realistically in the running.

While Bergoglio never threatened Ratzinger's lead--and made clear he didn't want the job, according to the diary published in the respected Italian foreign affairs magazine Limes--his runner-up status could signal the next conclave might elect a pope from Latin America, home to half the world's 1 billion Roman Catholics.

The diary of the anonymous cardinal also shows that Ratzinger didn't garner a huge margin--he had 84 of the 115 votes in the final ballot, seven more than the required two-thirds majority....

offers other colorful insights of what went on behind the scenes during the two days the 115 cardinals were sequestered in the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel.

Because the hotel prohibits smoking, Portuguese Cardinal Jose da Cruz would sneak outside for an after-dinner cigar, the diary says. And Cardinal Walter Kasper shunned the mini-buses that shuttled cardinals to the Sistine Chapel, preferring to walk by the Vatican gardens instead.

Wow, that last paragraph had some spicy info, let me tell you.

This is one of those stories where the news is not in the content but in the fact that someone made it public. [What about the prospect of a Latin American pope?--ed. Possible, but prior second-place finishers are far from guaranteed to be viable candidates in the next round of voting. That said, I'm sure Andrew Sullivan or Stephen Bainbridge could parse out further meaning.]

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey is saddened at this news, believing that, "[this] comes as a sad commentary that even the princes of the church cannot be trusted with secrets any longer, except those which specifically benefit themselves."

Hmmm... as someone who occasionally studies closed-off regimes, I can't say I agree.

posted by Dan on 09.24.05 at 03:13 PM


What about the prospect of a Latin pope? --ed

Please tell us this is ironic.

posted by: Mitchell Young on 09.24.05 at 03:13 PM [permalink]

"even the princes of the church cannot be trusted with secrets any longer, except those which specifically benefit themselves."

Never mind the gaggle of princes of the church who couldn't be trusted with your daughter, your wallet, an untended wineglass, or a sharp implement.

posted by: Jon H on 09.24.05 at 03:13 PM [permalink]

I think Jon H above means "your son".

posted by: John Salmon on 09.24.05 at 03:13 PM [permalink]

Cute jabs at church guys but really, was it needed? As it pertains to the prospect of a Latin Pope: I would actually asume that the matter is more of a question of whether the next Pope will be from the Third World, and it seems very likely that the next Pope may be from there given that is where the church is growing the most. It does bear mentioning that for those of us in West who would like to see a more 'liberal' Pope (my-self not included), that would be much less likely if in fact a Latin, African or South-East Asian Cardinal becomes Pope.

posted by: Luke P on 09.24.05 at 03:13 PM [permalink]

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