A Cardinal admits to his participation in the “mafia” that was successful in pushing the election of Pope Francis.
As an outsider to all things Roman Catholic (other than the ancient Trinitarian Faith), I have no idea what is involved in selecting a Pope once the previous Pontiff has died or (rarely) resigned. But I think people naturally want to believe, whether they are Roman Catholic or not, that the decision is made in some sort of “spiritual” manner rather than being a hard-fought political battle.
But when we are trying to figure out why we suddenly have such a Leftist Pope, taking note of the political pressure might be helpful to understand what happened. So I read this article at Life Site news with some interest: “Cardinal Danneels admits being part of clerical ‘Mafia’ that plotted Francis’ election.”
The authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, out next week, is even more of a bombshell than expected. Not only do the two authors, Jürgen Mettepenningen and Karim Schelkens, reveal that the Cardinal was a regular member of a secret pressure group of Churchmen that met in the Swiss town of Sankt-Gallen, but the Cardinal himself has publicly and good-humoredly admitted the fact.
Danneels even said that what was officially but discreetly labeled “the Sankt-Gallen group” was referred to by its members as “the Mafia”. Its self-imposed aim was to counter the growing influence of Cardinal Ratzinger under the pontificate of Saint John Paul II, serving as a sort of outlet where handpicked cardinals and bishops could express their impatience at the traditional mindset of the Pope and his closest counsellor.
The Belgian press doesn’t hesitate to say that one of the group’s primary goals was the promotion of Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) in view of John Paul II’s nearing death – something the book itself, which is not yet available in bookstores, perhaps clarifies. The Sankt-Gallen group certainly aimed to promote the ideas and preferences for which they had found a champion in Pope Francis.
Said Schelkens in an interview this week: “The election of Bergoglio was prepared in Sankt-Gallen, without doubt. And the main lines of the program the Pope is carrying out are those that Danneels and Co were starting to discuss more than ten years ago.”
“They wanted Church reform, they wanted to bring the Church closer to the hearts of people; they moved forward by stages,” commented Mettepenningen. “At the beginning of the year 2000, when John Paul II’s end was becoming more foreseeable, they thought more strategically about what was going to happen to the Church after John Paul II. When Cardinal Silvestrini joined the group it took on a more tactical and strategic character.”
The article goes on with more fascinating details. If true, it makes me wonder if this same group were able to increase the pressure on Ratzinger and “encourage” him to resign so that they could get Pope Francis.