Da Ivereigh all’abdicazione

I passi canonici resi necessari dallo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”

Traduzione dell’originale inglese da Antonio Marcantonio

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

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

Roma — 6 gennaio 2015: In occasione della solennità dell’Epifania del Signore, la Chiesa Cattolica celebra il trionfo della luce sulle tenebre, il trionfo della Luce Eterna sulle tenebre che questo mondo ha ereditato dal peccato di Adamo, tenebre che sono la conseguenza del peccato e consistono nella separazione da Dio e nella perdita della Luce di Dio che – se non fosse stato per il peccato originale – avrebbe condotto la stirpe di Adamo a una splendida gloria, già a partire dalla sua prima progenie. Nella giornata di oggi la Chiesa celebra la rivelazione della Luce Eterna incarnata nel seno della Santissima Vergine, rivelata a tutti i Gentili che cercano Dio; non a tutti i Gentili, si badi bene, bensì solo a quanti di loro – come i Magi di un tempo – Lo cercano con sincerità e con zelo.

Questo grande Mistero che oggi celebriamo deve riecheggiare in tutte le scelte di vita che facciamo, deve riecheggiare nell’intera vita della Chiesa e in tutte le Sue scelte, e deve riecheggiare anche nel governo della Chiesa tramite le scelte che la Gerarchia Sacra fa.

Una Chiesa che non osservi le Sue stesse leggi, quindi, non può in nessun modo affermare di essere la Chiesa che proclama il Mistero dell’Epifania; per questa ragione, la corruzione all’interno della Chiesa è da considerarsi un’abominevole negazione della verità di tutto ciò che l’Epifania rappresenta.

È pertanto assolutamente opportuno affermare ancóra una volta che i fatti vincolati allo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” e le sue conseguenze legali richiedono in modo estremo e supremo lo scioglimento dei dubbi e delle questioni che hanno sollevato.

Per questa ragione, il blog From Rome procede ora alla stesura di un riepilogo della Causa Canonica contro il “Team Bergoglio” e a mostrare le ragioni per cui la validità dell’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio ne risulta palesemente invalidata, lasciando alla tesi contraria scarse probabilità di dimostrarsi certa. Un riassunto dei reportage sullo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” è disponibile – insieme ai post del blog From Rome che ad esso si riferiscono – nella nostra Cronologia dei reportage sul Team Bergoglio, che viene aggiornata regolarmente. Per maggior comodità del lettore, riassumiamo i fatti contenuti negli articoli elencati nella Cronologia stessa.

L’infrazione del paragrafo 81 della Universi Dominici Gregis

Nel nono capitolo della sua biografia di Papa Francesco, Il Grande Riformatore: Francesco e la creazione di un Papa radicale, il Dr. Austen Ivereigh, ex-portavoce del Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, afferma che otto Cardinali hanno conspirato con successo per l’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio, sollecitando la promessa di voti da parte di venticinque Cardinali elettori al primo scrutinio del Conclave del 12 marzo 2013. Dal testo di Ivereigh si deduce che due o tre tra i cospiratori non erano elettori. In base ai termini del paragrafo 81 della costituzione apostolica Universi Dominici Gregis (UDG), gli elettori che partecipano a qualsiasi tipo di patto, accordo o promessa di voti stretta per mezzo di qualsiasi tipo di obbligazione – tanto di carattere leggero come di carattere forte – incorrono nella pena della scomunica. I termini utilizzati dall’UDG 81 indicano chiaramente che la scomunica deve essere intesa come una scomunica ipso facto che viene imposta nell’atto stesso della trasgressione. In una trasmissione della BBC del 12 marzo 2013, il Dr. Ivereigh ha ammesso di aver incontrato il presunto leader della campagna elettorale, il Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, riconoscendo anche – nella stessa apparizione sulla BBC – che ogni tipo di accordo relativo ai voti è proibito dalla norma papale. In un’intervista sul giornale, Catholic Herald, del 12 settembre 2013, il Cardinale ha ammesso di essere stato il leader di una campagna a favore di colui che sarebbe poi stato eletto come Papa Francesco e che quest’ultimo non solo era a conoscenza del fatto, ma gliene rese anche grazie il giorno successivo all’elezione; il Cardinale ha anche confermato nella stessa intervista che all’epoca del 12 marzo 2013 il Cardinal Bergoglio sapeva che sarebbe stato un candidato e che avrebbe ricevuto un gran numero di voti al primo scrutinio. Nessuno dei Cardinali di cui è stato fatto nome come persone implicate ha mai sostanzialmente o totalmente negato queste affermazioni dal momento in cui sono diventate per la prima volta di dominio pubblico, sei settimane fa, il 23 novembre 2014.*

Le pene stabilite dal Canone 1329 si applicano al Cardinal Bergoglio

In base al Canone 1329, tutti i Cardinali elettori che hanno partecipato a un accordo di questo tipo – dato che il reato non avrebbe potuto essere compiuto senza di loro – incorrono nello stesso tipo di scomunica. Tra questi rientra il Cardinal Bergoglio: se si considera che avrebbe potuto arrestare la campagna che si stava organizzando manifestando semplicemente la sua ripugnanza nei confronti della perpetrazione di un reato, si deve riconoscere, l’eventualità che egli non fosse a conoscenza della natura di quest’ultimo deve essere considerata virtualmente impossibile. In un video di unintervista diffuso recentemente, il Dr. Ivereigh ammette che il Cardinal Bergoglio arrivò a Roma per partecipare al Conclave con l’intenzione di essere un candidato. L’insistenza con cui egli espresse il desiderio di acquistare biancheria intima il giorno dopo l’elezione può anche indicare che fosse cosciente del fatto che il modo in cui fu eletto avrebbe potuto incriminarlo qualora non si fosse mostrato libero di ogni intenzione di essere eletto. Sostenere che Bergoglio non fosse consapevole della natura della campagna significherebbe pretendere che non abbia mai parlato con nessuno dei suoi sostenitori prima delle sessioni chiuse del Conclave, che non abbia esercitato alcuna forma di controllo sulla sua elezione, che non abbia cercato di ottenere il papato e che non si aspettasse di essere eletto.

Il Cardinal Bergoglio fu eletto con 78 voti

Secondo le voci trapelate, il Cardinal Bergoglio avrebbe ottenuto 16 voti al primo scrutinio e avrebbe vinto poi le elezioni all’ultimo ballottaggio del 13 marzo 2013 con 78 voti, solo due in più rispetto alla maggioranza di due terzi richiesta per l’elezione (76). I Cardinali Elettori e quanti hanno loro prestato assistenza nella Cappella Sistina il 12 e 13 marzo 2013 sono le uniche persone che conoscono il numero esatto dei voti. Tuttavia, tutti sono vincolati dal giuramento a non rivelarlo senza il permesso esplicito del Papa. I numeri riportati provengono da presunte indiscrezioni di qualcuno di loro, sorte nel clima d’euforia nel momento che ha seguìto l’elezione di Papa Francesco.

Il Canone 171 invalida l’elezione in ragione della violazione dell’UDG 81

In base alla norma stabilita dal Canone 171 §1, i voti degli elettori scomunicati non possono essere inclusi nel conteggio; il Canone 171 §2 stabilisce che, nel caso in cui essi vengano conteggiati come parte dei voti necessari per raggiungere il numero richiesto per l’elezione, quest’ultima è nulla e non valida. Il comma 3 del primo paragrafo del Canone 171 fa menzione di persone scomunicate per sentenza giudiziale o per decreto; il Canone 20 specifica che tutte le leggi papali come la UDG sono decreti generali; il testo latino dell’UDG 81 usa lo stesso verbo di imposizione specificato come condizione per il Canone 171 §1, ° 3 (innodare). È quindi fuor di dubbio che il Canone 171 invalidi delle elezioni papali in cui il numero di voti necessari per raggiungere il quorum (la maggioranza di due terzi) è stato ottenuto includendo nel conteggio 16 voti di altrettanti elettori scomunicati, come sembra essere il caso dello scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”. Certo, è possibile che qualcuno dei 16 voti emessi al primo scrutinio non siano stati promessi, ma è virtualmente impossibile che meno di due lo siano stati.

Cosa si deve fare adesso

Dato che il caso ha raggiunto un livello sufficiente di attendibilità per quanto riguarda la sua facti species, ossia, in base all’apparenza dei fatti, esso deve essere giudicato dalle autorità competenti.

Inoltre, dato che il caso riguarda l’invalidità delle elezioni, è necessario assicurare la validità di un giudizio in merito in modo tale che – indipendentemente dalla sentenza emessa dal giudizio stesso – le sue conclusioni siano raggiunte in base a un metodo che tutte le parti considerino, di comune accordo, lecito, legittimo e valido.

Se il Cardinal Bergoglio è stato eletto validamente, la sua autorità come Papa sarebbe sufficiente a sbrogliare la materia. Ma nell’ipotesi in cui egli non sia stato eletto validamente, il compito di farlo spetta al Sacro Collegio dei Cardinali in virtù dell’autorità conferita loro dall’UDG 5.

Sembra quindi saggio proporre quanto segue per giudicare il caso dello scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”:

  1. Il Papa convochi un concistoro cui partecipino sia i Cardinali elettori all’epoca in cui è stato eletto tanto quelli che non erano elettori al conclave del 2013, insieme ai Cardinali creati sotto il pontificato di Papa Francesco, che tuttavia non avranno diritto di pronunciarsi e di voto, per loro propria libera decisione.
  2. Il Papa esprima in un concistoro, in tutta umiltà, la sua volontà di abdicare qualora si scoprisse che la sua elezione non era valida.
  3. Il Papa, nel concistoro, esima tutti i Cardinali riuniti dal loro voto di segretezza riguardo a tutte le informazioni concernenti il conclave, in modo che essi possano parlare liberamente.
  4. I Cardinali stabiliscano per voto unanime che il successore di Papa Francesco, nel caso in cui questi abdichi o la sua elezione sia invalidata, esima allo stesso modo tutti loro da tale voto.
  5. Il Decano del Collegio chiami i Cardinali a rispondere – presentando testimonianza individuale – se gli sia stato chiesto di promettere di votare per qualche Cardinale specifico.
  6. I Cardinali, in virtù dell’autorità loro conferita dall’UDG 5, determinino se le testimonianze date mettano in dubbio la validità dell’elezione del 2013, e decidano con giudizio unanime se tale dubbio sia da ritenersi ragionevolmente una minaccia per l’unità della Chiesa.
  7. Papa Francesco confermi qualsiasi cosa essi determinino.
  8. Papa Francesco, nel caso di un giudizio affermativo, abdichi al suo ufficio tramite decreto scritto, in presenza dell’intero Sacro collegio; nel caso di un giudizio negativo, pubblichi i risultati dell’indagine e garantisca ai Cardinali la libertà di parlare in pubblico dell’intero affare una volta che il concistoro sia terminato, al fine di confermare la sua autenticità e mettere a tacere ogni dubbio.

 

Essendo che il caso sembra tanto solido, se quanti sono a conoscenza della falsità o della verità di qualcuno dei fatti o delle interpretazioni canoniche di cui sopra tacciono in questo momento, peccano gravemente o per mancanza di amore per la verità e per la reputazione delle persone coinvolte, o come complici dei fatti. Se le autorità competenti non emetteranno un giudizio su un caso indiscusso, la Chiesa Stessa sarà gravemente danneggiata nella Sua reputazione e nella Sua adesione al Mistero dell’Epifania, quello della manifestazione della Luce, della Verità eterna, incarnata in mezzo a noi.

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*  Vedi l’articolo Linfondatezza delle recenti smentite del Team Bergoglio– in inglese; ma qualche ora dopo la pubblicazione di quest’articolo, il Nieuwsblad.be in Belgio, pubblica un articolo in quale il Cardinale Danneels, tramite il suo portavoce, smentisce il patteggiamento di voti fatto da lui prima il conclave.

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Cardinal Murphy-O’Conner admits Pope Francis recognized his leadership of “Team Bergoglio”

Catholic Herald, Sept 12, 2014: Online edition (Screen Shot by From Rome blog)

Catholic Herald, Sept 12, 2014: Online edition (Screen Shot by From Rome blog)

Dec. 6, 2014: In a letter to the editor of the Monday edition of the Telegraph, Nov. 25th last, the former Cardinal of Westminster strongly denied that he had asked Cardinal Bergoglio to assent to a vote-lobbying campaign in his favor and the involvement of Cardinals in that effort, known as “Team Bergoglio”.

But, in a stunning revelation, published by Miguel Cullen in the Catholic Herald, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, and entitled,  Pope sent greetings to the Queen straight after his election, says cardinal, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had already contradicted his own denial, when he confessed to being the ring-leader of what Dr. Ivereigh nick-named, “Team Bergoglio”, and admited that Pope Francis recognized this, just 2 days after the conclusion of the Conclave in 2013.

The key passages of that report read:

The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left the Missa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: ‘Si – capisco’ – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.”

The admissions of the Cardinal in that report blow a hole in the hull of the denial, issued by Maggie Doherty, his spokeswoman, just 2 weeks ago, whereby he denied involvement and denied Cardinal Bergoglio knew about the vote-canvassing.

That Pope Francis knew about the Cardinal’s leadership in “Team Bergoglio” is admitted by the Cardinal in the same report, where it says:

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “All the cardinals had a meeting with him in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’ 

For a time-line of reports about “Team Bergoglio” from sources round the world, as well as by this blog, see here.

Ivereigh backtracks to protect “Team Bergoglio” from penalties of UDG 81

Rome, Dec. 5, 2014:  In the ongoing saga regarding the allegations of Dr. Austen Ivereigh, published in the print edition of his new book on the Pope, The Great Reformer, there are daily developments regarding what Dr. Ivereigh calls “Team Bergoglio”, the group of 4 Cardinals who conducted an organizing vote-canvassing campaign with the assent of Cardinal Bergoglio to get the latter elected.

Dr. Austen Ivereigh is, as Marco Tosatti of La Stampa characterized him, not a Signor Nessuno, (a Mr. Nobody); he is the former personal secretary to one of the Cardinals who is implicated, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster, the very Cardinal whom Ivereigh identifies as the point man conducting the campaign.

The other Cardinals implicated, according to various reports, are:  Kasper, Daneels, and Lehmann, as members of “Team Bergoglio”; as facilitators, Cardinals O’Malley of Boston, Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, and the Spaniard, Santos Abril y Castello.

Last night, Catholic News Agency published another revealing report, entitled, Author, cardinals spar over reports of conclave campaigning, in which Dr. Ivereigh is reported to have backtracked significantly on his published claims.

The key part of that report attributes to Dr. Ivereigh the following:

“I am sorry for any misunderstanding arising from my choice of words,” he said, adding that his book’s future editions will have revisions to this statement. The new text will read, “In keeping with conclave rules, they did not ask Bergoglio if he would be willing be a candidate. But they believed this time that the crisis in the Church would make it hard for him to refuse if elected.”

This statement by Ivereigh seems to confirm the validity of the doubts raised by this Blog regarding the possible violations of the papal law on elections of a new pope, Universi Dominici Gregis, specifically in paragraph 81, which punishes Cardinals who vote-canvass with automatic excommunication; and possibly also regarding Canon 171 §2 which invalidates ecclesiastical elections in which excommunicated electors participate to arrive at the final vote count.  Since Cardinal Bergoglio, according to reports, obtained only a 2 vote margin more than the required 66% of total electors present, any possibility that 3 or more of those electors participated in vote-canvassing agreements would put in doubt the legitimacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s claim to the Papacy itself!

What needs to be emphasized, is that the terms of UDG 81 penalize not only those who canvass for votes, but those who are canvassed for votes, if they agreed to the persuasive activities and gave their vote in Conclave on the basis of a promise. Thus, the mere hint of a possibility that any Cardinal was canvassing votes, puts the validity of the election procedure under great doubt and uncertainty.

See a timeline of Reports, from around the world, on the “Team Bergoglio” story, here.

Vatican Radio seeks to kill story on “Team Bergoglio”

Note: For a more recent summary of the Allegations contained in Dr. Ivereigh’s Book, click here.

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Rome, Dec. 4, 2014:  The remarkable and stunning revelations by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer: the Making of a Radical Pope, have shown their importance in recent days by the sheer number of news articles which have appeared, framing the news of the book on the basis of the story regarding “Team Bergoglio”, the name Dr. Ivereigh gives to the group of 4-6 Cardinals of the Roman Church who, in the days prior to the opening of the Conclave on March 6, 2013, organized an electoral campaign to urge the candidacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Buenas Aires, Argentina.

While the story did not get traction, outside of the UK, until it was covered by the noted Vaticanista, Marco Tosatti of La Stampa, in Italy, once he did, it broke in numerous news outlets the world over, both in Spain, Portugal, Brazil and the United States.  Soon Ivereigh was taking interview requests from as far away as Peru. And since it has, he has given numerous talks on his book.

However, what most do not know, is that within hours of Tosatti’s published comments, the Vatican was moving behind the scenes to quash the story.  For the Italian blog, il Sismografo, which published Fr. Frederico Lombardi’s carefully worded denial of the allegations, is, unbeknownst to many, run by Fr. Lombard’s colleagues at Radio Vaticana.

The nature of the denial issued by Il Sismografo indicates that great fear and trepidation is had in circles much higher up at the Vatican regarding the allegations.  This can be seen from the fact that the denial was not issued through an official source, that the publishers of the denial were colleagues of Lombardi hiding behind the anonymity of a blog, which is widely read by journalists.  Neither of which could be done without direct knowledge of Cardinal Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican.

As is now, nearly universally known, it was John Bingham of the Telegraph, in the UK, who first broke the story and used the ascription “a discreet, but highly organised, campaign” to describe the work of “Team Bergoglio“. In his story, he quotes Dr. Ivereigh saying of the Team’s work that it was an “organised pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected“. After the publication of his story in the Sunday, Nov. 23 edition of the Telegraph, Dr. Ivereigh was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio about his book and did not discount Bingham’s characterization of the story, but did show extreme unease as he dodged the question as to its nature.

As this blog, From Rome, has speculated, the reason for the great trepidation and swift denials of Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative of events, both by the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster, England, and now by Fr. Frederico Lombardi, the head of the Vatican Press Office, is most likely that the papal law for elections of the Roman Pontiff expressly forbids under pain of automatic excommunication, any type of campaigning which obliges in any manner the elector to vote or not vote for a specific candidate or candidates.

As of yesterday, however, the scrubbing of the story is underway: with Google Books removing from online viewing the pages regarding the electoral campaign.

This blog, From Rome has published 2 articles on the canvassing campaign and another on the history of reports about the stories on “Team Bergoglio”.  We have characterizing the lobbying effort from the beginning as canvassing, on the basis of the moral quality of the work done:  for to canvass for votes means, in English, ‘to urge to an elector the worthiness of a candidate and to ask or inquire by words or signs whether the elector can be counted upon to vote for the candidate who has been urged.’

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, himself, uses the word, “canvassing” in The Great Reformer, when he writes (on-line edition, not paginated):

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 bloc.

That the lobbying campaign was an effort at canvassing is confirmed by the words of one American Cardinal, who in the summer of 2013, in an expression of dismay about the course the pontificate of Cardinal Bergoglio was taking, quipped in public that, “We didn’t get the goods which we were sold!“.  While this phrase is not, as some have claimed on the Net, certainly indicative of a sale of votes, it is indicative of an organized effort to solicit votes.

Yet, such an asking or solicitation is expressly forbidden by paragraph 81 of Universi Dominici, which is as wide in the activities which it forbids as it is with the manner of obligation assumed.  While it seems incredible to some, very knowledgeable in the affairs of previous conclaves, that such is forbidden, the fact remains that in the conclave of 2013, if just 4 or 6 Cardinals were involved, the small marginal victory of Cardinal Bergoglio in the final vote of 78 in favor (+2 votes more than the 66% required) would be put in doubt on account of the terms of Canon 171, which nullifies all ecclesiastical elections wherein the votes accrued for victory are only obtained with the counting of votes of excommunicated electors.

That “Team Bergoglio” knew beforehand of the risks involved seems indicated by the fact that it was Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Conner, who was not eligible to vote in the Conclave, who was their leader; because by participating in a canvassing campaign, if he were to run afoul of the papal law against such, the loss of his vote would not risk the effects of Canon 171 § 2, the invalidation of the election.  This seems further indicated by the fact that the denials issued by the Cardinals have regarded the consent of Cardinal Bergoglio (a most untoward allegation, as far as the ethics of the Sacred College go) and the participation of Cardinals, but not other persons: denials which seek to undermine an allegation regarding a conspiracy and the invalidity of the election, rather than the canvassing of votes per se.  Indeed, what apologists, who have appeared on the Net in favor of “Team Bergoglio”, have attempted to stress is only that what was done was no different than what was done in the conclaves in the past.

That the Cardinals named by Dr. Ivereigh did participate in a lobbying campaign seems confirmed by a report by the Wall Street Journal, by Stacy Meichtry and Alessandra Galloni, entitled, Fifteen Days in Rome: How the Pope Was Picked:The inside story: From the Red Room where Bergoglio’s name was first dropped to a faithful night on Rome’s Piazza Navona, which was published on Aug. 6, 2013.

Though, until today, no one has publicly commented on the novelty of Pope John Paul’s law, Universi Dominici Gregis, which puts such a harsh penalty on what seemingly would be the natural course of events in an election conducted by human prudence.  Indeed, the whole tenor of the current papal law on the election of the Roman Pontiff stresses that it should be conducted only in a religious manner, one free from all such political gamesmanship.  And this is the chief point which the allegations seem in trepidation aimed at affirming.

For a time-line of reports, including our own coverage, click here.

The Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”

Rome, Dec. 2, 2014: The revelations by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer, have provoked response and comment throughout the world.  Since, in such an important story it is useful to understand the chronology of the reporting, the From Rome Blog will attempt to cover, in this article, a short summary of events in the form of a timeline, for the utility of its readers and of journalists following the story.  This timeline will be updated from time to time, until the magnitude becomes something too great for one blogger to follow.

Nov. 21, 2014:  Dr. Austen Ivereigh presents his book to Pope Francis (Reported by Dr. Ivereigh’s Twitter feed: see screen shot here).

Nov. 22, 2014:  John Bingham, reporter for the Telegraph, writes his report, Pope Francis: how cardinals’ Conclave lobbying campaign paved way for Argentine pontiff, which appears on the online edition at 8:15 PM London time.  It is in this report that the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh, regarding vote canvassing are first made news.  All the subsequent reports will react to this. (On Nov. 26, this article was published, with later information, in a Spanish translation by Secretum Meum Mihi Blog, here.)

Nov. 23, 2014: A report by John Bingham, entitled, “English Cardinal ‘lobbied for Pope’“, is published on p. 16 in the Sunday Telegraph, UK, regarding Dr. Ivereigh’s book and the allegations concerning the vote canvassing by Cardinals in days preceding the Conclave of 2013 (according to Maggie Doherty’s Letter to the Editor in the Daily Telegraph, Nov. 25). An image of page 16 of the Sunday Telegraph is subsequently published by a Spanish blog on Dec. 1 (here)

Nov. 23, 2014:  Antony Bushfield of Premier Christian Radio writes, English Cardinal ‘led campaign’ to elect Pope Francis, and interviews Dr. Ivereigh about his book (9:36 minutes) and the allegations of canvassing. Dr. Ivereigh says of Cardinal Bergoglio, “accepts” out of humility to be Candidate; Ivereigh also confirms meeting on previous Friday with Pope. When questioned by Bushfield, Dr. Ivereigh affirms necessity of process to get elected as Pope, but doges question about nature of canvassing, with seemingly great worry about the words he is choosing.

Nov. 24, 2014:  Libertà e Persona, publishes Lorenzo Bertocchi’s, La “squadra di Bergoglio”, which exposes the story for the first time in the Italian language. (This link discovered & added to chronology on Dec. 15).

Nov. 24, 2014:  GloriaTV publishes in video format its News for Nov. 25, in which it details the revelations of Dr. Ivereigh’s book regarding “Team Bergoglio”. (added to Chronology on Dec. 17, 2014).

Nov. 25, 2014:  Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer: the Making of a Radical Pope is published in English in the USA/UK (according to Amazon.com) and Italian.

Nov. 25, 2014:  In a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph, Maggie Doherty, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor denies that Cardinal Bergoglio was approached by Cardinals or consented to the work of “Team Bergoglio”. (See here for an image of that letter).

Nov. 25, 2014:  The From Rome blog reports the events known and speculated about the canonical implications of UDG 81, in “If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?

Nov. 26, 2014:  The From Rome blog adds an addendum concerning the implications of canon 171 to its previous report.

Nov. 27, 2014:  The From Rome blog returns to the topic of “Team Bergoglio” in, Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope, which discusses both the letter by Maggie Doherty and the canonical reasons why it appears that the election of Cardinal Bergoglio may now be open to a challenge. This article was republished in a rather good Italian translation by Chiesa e post Concilio, on Dec. 2.

Dec. 1, 2014:  In the morning, Marco Tosatti, noted Vaticanista at La Stampa, reports the imbroglio on his blog, San Pietro e Dintorni, Il caso di “Team Bergoglio”. Tosatti is the first journalist to cite UDG 81, and gives a HT to the From Rome blog.

Dec. 1, 2014:  In the late morning, the Italian news blog, Il Sismografo publishes, P. Lombardi su presunti comportamenti di alcuni cardinali nell’ultimo Conclave, the apparent transcript of a private communication by Fr. Frederico Lombardi, the Vatican Press Office spokesman, denying the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh. (Original here at a somewhat nondescript url, not the front page: our translation here).  Fr. Lombardi’s denial names the four Cardinals.

Dec. 1, 2014:  The blog, Rorate Caeli (here), and the Spanish news service EFE (here) report on Il Sismografo’s report and the preceding news.  The former adds speculations regarding who were involved in convincing Pope Benedict XVI to resign and lamented the dearth of investigative reporting on that story.  The From Rome blog, follows with its unofficial English translation, in Fr. Lombardi denies Ivereigh’s allegations.

Numerous news agencies then leaped on the report, mostly in the Spanish speaking world:

Europa Press: El Vaticano desmiente una estrategia entre cardinales en el ultimo conclave para elegir a Francesco

Periodista Digital: La Santa Sede niega la existencia de un acuerdo previo al conclave para la eleccion de Francisco (RD/Agencias)

El Papa en la prensa: El complot (que non era) de cuatro cardenales para elegir Papa al Cardenal Bergoglio (This report contains a image of page 16 of the Sunday Telegraph, cited above).

Radio Formula: Cardenales niegan campaña para elección papal de BergoglioThis Report adds the names of 2 more Cardinals, Sean O’Malley (Boston) and Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, and reports the implications of UDG 81. (Notimex)

Ansa Brasil:  Cardeais negam campanha por eleição de Francisco (Source: http://www.papafrancesconewsapp.com/por/)

Ansa Italia: Papa: Porpore negano accordi pre-Conclave (in the briefest of terms).

(This list is not exhaustive.)

Dec. 2, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes for the first time, The Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”

Dec 2, 2014:  Marco Tosatti publishes on his blog, San Pietro e Dintorni, Team Bergoglio. Ivereigh Scrive., which the blog, From Rome notices on his twitter feed, just 2 minutes after the first publication of its Chronology report. Tosatti’s report cites Ivereigh’s clarification, notices that he has not denied anything, and adds corroborative information concerning Bergoglio recognition of the campaign and its effectiveness.

Dec. 2, 2014:  Gloria TV News, in a video broadcast at 9 PM, covers the story of “Team Bergoglio” and reveals discrepancies in the denial given by Fr. Lombardi.

Dec. 3, 2014:  Katholisches.info publishes a good summary of the controversy heretofore, entitled,  Ivereigh + Universi dominici gregis 81 = Ein radikales Problem für den Papst, which, though it copies the title of our past report, contains in German, an original work by the editors of that site.

Dec. 4. 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, Vatican Radio seeks to kill story on “Team Bergoglio”, which outs Il Sismografo as a publication of Radio Vaticana staff and analyzes the attribution of “canvassing” to the story on “Team Bergoglio”, as well as other information as assists in the understanding of the motives behind the curious denials of Ivereigh’s testimony in The Great Reformer.

Dec. 4. 2014:  Catholic News Agency publishes, Author, cardinals spar over reports of conclave campaigning: which cites Dr. Ivereigh’s substantial retractions of his original printed narrative in The Great Reformer

Dec. 5, 2014:  The From Rome Blog publishes, Ivereigh backtracks to protect “Team Bergoglio” from penalties of UDG 81: which responds to the CNA article and draws out the conclusions.

Dec. 5, 2014:  David Gibson of Religion News Service (NYC) publishes, Smoking gun? Pope Francis’ critics cite new book in questioning his papacy: which is a rather well written piece, except for 2 facts:

(1) that it seems to characterize this Blog as a critic of Pope Francis for simply speculating as to the motives of those official spokesman (Maggie Doherty of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor & Fr. Frederico Lombardi, of the Pope) for issuing denials about what Dr. Ivereigh claimed in his book, The Great Reformer. Hey, folks, the author of the From Rome blog is simply being curious and attentive; is it now a crime against political correctness to publish one’s thoughts about the news?

(2) Gibson writes: “prompted some to question whether Bergoglio himself was involved by giving the go-ahead”, while linking to the From Rome blog.  As far as the From Rome blog knows, it has never published speculation as to whether Cardinal Bergoglio was involved, it has speculated whether the reason for the denials is the consequences of UDG 81 regarding all who are involved, regardless of who was involved. Let’s us remember, folks, that it is Dr. Ivereigh who is or has made the allegations, this Blog is only reporting what has been alleged and speculating on the motives of those reacting to that allegation and of Dr. Ivereigh for changing his story.

Dec. 5, 2014:  Kirche & Realität broadcasts in a German-language Video news of the “Team Bergoglio” affair.

Dec. 6, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, Ivereigh knew of UDG 81 on March 12, 2014, which details evidence from a news report by the BBC, in video format, in which Dr. Austen Ivereigh and Msgr. Mark Langham participate, and concludes that it sufficiently shows the probity of Ivereigh’s claims in The Great Reformer. It also cites UDG 81 and canon 171 to show how this might lead to the invalidity of Cardinal Bergoglio’s election.

Dec. 6, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, Cardinal Murphy-O’Conner admits Pope Francis recognized his leadership of “Team Bergoglio”, which cites a Sept. 12, 2013 Catholic Herald report by Miguel Cullen, in which the Cardinal guts 2 key points of his official Nov. 25th denial of Ivereigh’s narrative.

Dec. 7, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes its first editorial on the “Team Bergoglio” affair, entitling it:  4 Ways the “Team Bergoglio” Revelations undo Francis’ papacy, which draws out the ecclesiological implications of the affair and its handling; shows forensically that the two denials, heretofore given, are not credible, and suggests a plenary solution to the questions and doubts arising.

Dec. 7, 2014:  Msgr. Kieran Harrington of NET TV interviews Dr. Austen Ivereigh regarding his book. Ivereigh answers in a very indirect manner, Msgr. Harrington concludes by affirming vote-canvassing is a criminalized act. Gibson of RNS participates and shows his bias to the reports on this scandal. (Thank you, Msgr., for your coverage!) — This video was uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 9th; according to Dr. Ivereigh’s Twitter feed, it was recorded on Dec. 2.

Dec. 8, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, Public Questions for the Vatican that need to be Answered, which lists 4 questions asked of Mr. Greg Burke, Senior Communications officers at the Vatican Secretary of State, and awaits his response.

Dec. 9, 2o14:  The From Rome blog publishes, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope: As many as 30 Cardinals implicated in Vote-Canvassing Scandal, which reviews the print-edition of the Book, and subjects Dr. Ivereigh’s testimony to a forensic analysis to determine who is being accused of what. This article was published in Italian translation by the Roman blog, Chiesa e post concilio, on Dec. 17, 2014.

Dec. 9, 2014:  Joan Frawley Desmond, of the National Catholic Register publishes an written transcript of an interview with Dr. Austen Ivereigh entitled, Unraveling the ‘Francis Enigma’, which toward the end discusses the canvassing controversy.  There, Dr. Ivereigh says wrongly, that it would be contrary to conclave rules for a Cardinal to cooperate in any manner with a campaign to urge his election (this is forbidden only if there is a pact or agreement to solicit votes by promises). He gives this as the motive for Team Bergoglio’s objections to his narrative and his motive for altering the statement in the E-book edition of his book.

Dec. 11, 2014:  Church Militant TV briefly mentions the Team Bergoglio affair in their Top News Stories of the day.

Dec. 11, 2014:  Raymond Arroyo at EWTN interviewed Dr. Austen Ivereigh about Team Bergoglio scandal at 36:40 during The World Over program, on video. This is not a permanent link, will be valid only for 7 days. In it, Ivereigh reaffirms the validity of his narrative in toto, only says that he was wrong to say that the Cardinals sought Bergoglio’s consent.  In his book he says “assent” not “consent”, though, on p. 355.

Dec. 12, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, The Monstrosity of the Allegations against “Team Bergoglio” = Cardinal Bergoglio is not the Pope, draws out the implications of what Dr. Ivereigh has alleged, by showing the consequences of the effects of Canons 1329 and 1331: that is, that the allegations imply that the Pope is not the Pope. (This article was translated into German by the Custos-Sancto blog, on Dec. 22., omitting the footnotes.)

Dec. 13, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials, which subjects the public statements of Maggie Doherty and Fr. Frederico Lombardi, made on behalf of the alleged members of Team Bergoglio, to a forensic analysis to determine their probity. Which analysis shows that little or nothing has in fact been denied, and implicitly much or all has been confirmed. All of which points to the affirmation by Team Bergoglio of Cardinal Bergoglio’s complicity.

Dec. 13, 2014:  John Allen of Crux, an Internet Subsidiary of the Boston Globe (owned by Boston Red Sox owner), publishes, Deal with it: Francis is the Pope, in which Allen cites Dr. Ivereigh’s new position that nothing alleged happened nor is it signified by what he wrote; repeats error that all agreements before conclave are contravention of Universi Dominici Gregis, ignores that he said “votes” were “tallied”.

From Rome’s Comment on the Article: The article by Allen ostensibly could be understood as written principally for the purpose of rebutting the reports of the From Rome blog, but in it the author shows he has not read Dr. Ivereigh’s book, and Ivereigh forgets what he wrote. That both seem to take the new view, that words do not have a fixed meaning, but only that which political necessity of the moment dictates, is a sure sign that there is no way to defend against the assertions that the allegations as written have the enormous implications as have been detailed here at the From Rome blog.

Dec. 17, 2014:  The From Rome blog, publishes, Cardinal Napier speaks about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal: in which the Twitter conversation between Mr. Paul Priest and his Eminence is published for the sake of those not having a Twitter account; in the course of which it appears that the Cardinal has a different sense of what constitutes sufficient forensic evidence, and a non-familiarity with UDG n. 5. (This article was translated immediately into Italian by the Info-Catholice Blog; it was republished in a Polish translation the next day.

Dec. 17, 2014:  Novus Ordo Watch, one of the leading news sites for Sedevacantists (who hold that one or more or all of the Popes since Pius XII are not pope, on account of heresy or invalidity of election), covers the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in their daily news wire and then a separate post. The news-wire story was then immediately translated into Spanish.

Dec. 17, 2014:  Chiesa e post Concilio, a blog in the city of  Rome, publishes in Italian translation our article on Dr. Ivereigh’s book:  Il Grande Riformatore e la creazione di un Papa radicale (translation by Antonio Marcantonio).

Dec. 20, 2014:  The From Rome Blog publishes its editorial, No, your Eminence, the Church is not a Tyranny!, which speaks to the gravity of underestimating the implications of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s scandalous allegations regarding “Team Bergoglio” and the 2013 Conclave, on account of the nature of the Church’s mission.

Dec. 21, 2014:  Radio Spada publishes Guido Ferro Canale’s, Nullità dell’elezione pontifica per accordo previo?, which attempts to show that a hypothetical violation of UDG 81 would not, nor could not, render a papal election itself suspect. The author’s rambling argument neglects several important articles already published which speak of the effects of canons 1329, 1331 and 171, though he omits previous objections made by Bergoglio supporters. He also seemingly is unaware of the contents or meaning of the English words found in the text the ninth chapter of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, such as “canvassing”, “campaigning”, and “tallying”.

Dec. 21, 2014:  The From Rome Blog publishes, 2 American Prelates endorses narrative in “Team Bergoglio” scandal, which cites Cardinal Dolan’s and Archbishop Chaput’s endorsement of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer, as found on the back dust-jacket of the American edition. Others endorsing the book are:  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). The From Rome Blog also notes therein, that Amazon.com USA is no longer selling the book on account of some stocking problem.

Dec. 21, 2014:  Antonio Socci, the famous Italian journalist, and author, comments in an editorial published in the Italian newspaper, Libero (reprinted the next day at their blog, and the same day at his blog, Lo Straniero) on the Team Bergoglio Scandal.  The From Rome blog publishes an unofficial English translation of the first part of that article, here. Socci is of the opinion that the validity of the Conclave is not jeopardized thereby, but does not give his reasons.

Dec. 22, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, Antontio Socci speaks about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, which is an unofficial translation of part of Socci’s blog post from the previous day.

Dec. 25, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes a news summary, entitled, The “Team Bergoglio” scandal, to summarize the news and to make it easier for new-comers to obtain quickly a total perspective on the scandal.

Dec. 28, 2014:  The From Rome blog publishes, How “Team Bergoglio” managed the news on “Team Bergoglio”, which critiques the news coverage thus far and shows how little objective reporting there has been on the news of the vote-canvassing scandal.

January 3, 2015:  The Italian blog, Bergoglionate, evidently responding to the problems listed in in the Dec. 28 editorial published by the From Rome blog,  republishes the Italian version of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s, The Great Reformer, chapter IX, which contains the explosive narrative regarding “Team Bergoglio”‘s vote-canvassing. The Italian translation, however, errs, in rendering “canvassing” as “sollecitare”, because in English, canvassing for votes is not simply the urging of a vote, but also the seeking of a promise to vote. Antonio Marcantonio rendered the English verb as “patteggiare” which captures this finality of the action better.

January 5, 2015:  Espresso Online, publishes Sandro Magister’s, He is Pope. Elected by All the rules, which contains as an addendum citations from an study by a canonist Geraldina Boni, in which the thesis of Antonio Socci is rebutted, incompletely (full text of Boni in Italian is published simultaneously here); since, Socci says rightly that no more than 4 ballots can be made in 1 day, but Boni states that if 1 ballot was nullified on account of there being 1 extra blank vote-ballot (UDG 68), then no violation of the rules (UDG 63) took place, which is to merely counter’s Socci’s assertion with an assertion.  The article also makes passing comment regarding “Team Bergoglio” but ignores any substantive consideration of UDG 81.  That Sandro Magister considers the arguments regarding the invalidity of Cardinal Bergoglio’s election worthy of rebuttal is astounding of itself.

January 5, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Sandro Magister speaks about the invalidity of the 2013 Conclave, in which there is presented a critique of Boni’s argument and point out the key passage in the Latin original of UDG, about which the dispute between Boni and Socci should focus.

January 5, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Canon 171 can invalidate a Papal Election, in which there is presented an English translation of the commentary by a noted canonist, Fr. Jesús Miñambres, JCD, on the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, in which he sustains that canon 171 can invalidate a papal election, in contradiction to the defenders of Team Bergoglio who have sustained that UDG was immune from any terms of the CIC of 1983, being a special law not subject to Canon Law in general.

January 6, 2015:  Nieuwsblad.be publishes Michaël Temmerman’s, ‘Franciscus werd paus dankzij kardinaal Danneels’, in the Flemish language, in which a noted Belgian Vaticanologist, Tom Zwaene­poel, says that if the allegations of vote-canvassing are true, the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is invalid. Temmerman also interviews the spokesman of Cardinal Daneels, who affirms that the Cardinal “certainly did not recruit any votes”. (This entry added to the Chronology on Jan 13, 2015; is republished in English translation by the From Rome blog on Jan. 16).

January 6, 2015:  Nieuwsblad.be publishes an unsigned editorial, in Flemish, entitled, ‘Heisa rond boek over Franciscus is poging om paus te destabiliseren’, which cites the opinion of Rik Torfs, canonist and Rector of the Catholic University of Louvain, against the invalidity of the 2013 Conclave, on the basis of the acts described in Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s book, though he gives no reasons other than holding that what was done has always been done. This editorial appears to be a reaction to Zwaenepoel’s comment on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal. (Found and added to the Chronology on Jan. 15, 2015).

January 6, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, which summarizes the apparent canonical case or consequences against “Team Bergoglio” and proposes a possible solution for the peace and unity of the Church. On February 2, 2015, the From Rome blog publishes its official Italian translation of this article, translation by Antonio Marcantonio.

January 7, 2015:  Dr. Austen Ivereigh responds to Fr. Frank Brennan, S. J., in a piece 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 part of his review of Ivereigh’s book to discount the probity of Ivereigh’s testimony in chapter 9.

January 9, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account, in which reprints and discusses what Dr. Ivereigh has now said regarding the composition and controversies in his account.

January 10, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, “Team Bergoglio” and the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, which shows the episcopal lineage of the alleged members of “Team Bergoglio”back to Cardinal Rampolla, an alleged Freemason, and his close associates.

January 11, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Who tallied votes for “Team Bergoglio”?, which republishes a photo of Cardinals Kasper, Marx and Poletto taken on March 4, 2013, as the open sessions of the 2013 Conclave began, and speculates that it was Cardinal Severino Poletto, the retired Archbishop of Torino.

January 15, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Cardinal Napier says there is no evidence for “Team Bergoglio” scandal, which republishes the Twitter dialogue between the Cardinal and the editor of this blog, with an explanation of the kinds of evidence necessary to impute a crime, call for an investigation and prove a crime.

January 16, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Francis became Pope thanks to Belgian Cardinal Danneels, which is an English translation of Michaël Temmerman’s, ‘Franciscus werd paus dankzij kardinaal Danneels’. (cf. above Jan. 6, 2015).

January 17, 2015: The From Rome blog publishes, Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal, which presents the canonical reasons why and how each Cardinal can act on the basis of the news regarding the scandal, chronologized here above..

January 30, 2015: The From Rome blog publishes, If the College of Cardinals Fails…, which explains that in cases of heresy in a Roman Pontiff, or the invalidity of his election, and/or conspiracy to aide and abet him heresy, if the competent authority vested in the College of Cardinals is not exercised, that right passes by iure divino atque naturali to the clergy of the Diocese of Rome.

February 2, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Da Ivereigh all’abdicazione, our official Italian translation of our January 6th Article, entitled, From Ivereigh to Abdication, the canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal (see above).

February 6, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes, Se il Collego dei Cardinali non fa il suo dovere, our official Italian translation of our January 30th Article, entitled, If the College of Cardinals fails.

February 10, 2015:  The From Rome blog publishes the untold story, “Team Bergoglio” is a heretical conspiracy to overthrow the Church of Christ, which names the members and cites their principle heresies.

September 24, 2015:  Renowned Vaticanista,  Edward Pentin, via his blog on NCR,  publishes an article entitled, “Cardinal Danneels Admits to Being Part of a ‘Mafia’ Club opposed to Benedict XVI”, which reveals the decade long conspiracy, which was known as the Club of St.  Gallen, to elect Bergoglio so as to radically change the Catholic Church.  This is confirmation of the violation of UDG 81.

September 24, 2015:  Renowned Vaticanista, Marco Tosatti confirms, via his blog, that in a new biography, Cardinal Danneels admits to being part of a “mafiaclub” working to get Bergoglio elected, years before 2013.

Fr. Lombardi denies Ivereigh’s allegations

imagesRome 12:44 PM, Dec. 1, 2014:  Il Sismographo, an Italian news blog, has contacted Fr. Lombardi, the Pope’s official spokesman, in regard to the facts alleged in Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer: the Making of Radical Pope, which concern the existence of a “Team Bergoglio” which worked with the express consent of Cardinal Bergoglio to canvass votes in the days prior to the Conclave of 2013. Il Sismografo’s report has also been covered in Spanish by EFE.

Here is my unofficial English translation of Il Sismografo’s Dec. 1 notice, signed by the editorial staff of the blog:

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.

Please note that the From Rome Blog will comment on this and the contents of Dr. Ivereigh’s book in a day or two. Our previous reports on Dr. Ivereigh’s Book can be found on our front page.

Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope

AustenPresentsBook
(Screen shot, of Dr. Ivereigh’s twitter timeline: Nov. 21, 2014 A. D.)

Rome, Nov. 27, 2014:  Last Friday, His Holiness Pope Francis had the occasion to receive from Dr. Austen Ivereigh, a copy of his new book, the Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope which unbeknownst to both men, would within a week be the cause of great consternation for them both.

As John Bingham, a reporter for the Telegraph, in the UK, reported the next day, Dr. Ivereigh’s book contained the stunning revelation that certain supporters of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio — whom he names, “Team Bergoglio”— canvassed for his support in the days prior to the Conclave of 2013.

The Curious denial of Ivereigh

A key fact alleged in the book, namely, that Cardinal Bergoglio expressly consented to the work of Team Bergoglio, was denied in a letter published on the Daily Telegraph Letter’s Page, print edition, by Maggie Doherty, the press-secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.  The text of that letter reads:

Denial

As I surmised, yesterday, here at the From Rome blog, in my article entitled, If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?, the version of events reportedly asserted in Ivereigh’s book, presents the opportunity of a grave canonical challenge to the validity of Pope Francis’ election to the office of Roman Pontiff.

Maggie Doherty’s statement is remarkable for several reasons.

The first of which, is that Dr. Ivereigh is, himself, a former secretary to Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, a close confident as any Cardinal could have, someone who would be de officio familiar and friendly with all the friends and colleagues of the Cardinal the world over, seeing that it would have been his duty to interact and communicate daily with each and every one of them.  From such experience, Dr. Ivereigh could have legitimately acquired a vast network of contacts from which he could have first hand information of all which regarded the events prior to the Conclave of 2013; information which could be freely offered him, since the Apostolic Constitution regarding the elections of the Roman Pontiff (Universi Dominici Gregis), penalizes only the divulging of information regarding affairs which occurred in or during the conclave itself.

The second of which, I mentioned yesterday, is that if there were no adverse consequences of the facts presented in Dr. Ivereigh’s book, the Great Reformer, then there would be no need for Maggie Doherty to issue a denial, let alone in the form of a letter to the editor!

The third remarkable aspect of her letter is that it speaks only of Cardinal Bergoglio, and denies only that he was approached or consented to the canvassing of votes.  This denial makes it appear that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was acting, in divulging it, to protect the reputation of the Pope, perhaps, even on the request of the Vatican Secretary of State.

The fourth remarkable aspect is that she denied only the activities of Cardinals, and said nothing regarding the activities of Bishops or priests or others who may have been involved.

The fifth remarkable aspect is that Maggie Doherty says, “What occurred during the Conclave … is bound by secrecy”.  This is grammatically and canonically not correct.  All who participated in the Conclave are by Pope John Paul II’s aforementioned Apostolic Constitution are bound to keep secrecy. (Cardinals promise this in n. 12; all participating are bound to secrecy in n. 47; there is an entire Chapter, the fourth, on it; and in n. 47).  And in n. 58 of that document, the penalty of excommunication is imposed for its violation. But if the Pope permits, this secrecy can be broken. So it is not the events that are bound, but the persons.  Her statement is remarkable in this respect, because it speaks of an undue haste in its composition, without the counsel, at least, of an expert in canon law to review it. (This argues for the possibility that she wrote the letter at the personal request of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, which we shall now see, Ivereigh would confirm).

The Thicket into which Ivereigh fell on that account

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, hours after the publication of Doherty’s letter to the editor — and after the publication of my own questioning blog post (If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?, which drew out and explicated the canonical problem resulting from the reported claims of his book) —  retracted what he said on his Twitter Feed, at 3 AM on Nov. 25, writing in reference to the print edition of his book, already on sale in the USA/UK:

“They secured his assent” (p. 355) shd have read “They believed he wd not oppose his election”. Will amend in future eds.

Which is Twitter abbreviated speak, I surmise and explicate, for:

Where I wrote, “They secured his assent” on p. 355, it should have read, “They believe he would not oppose his own election.”  I will amend this in future editions of my book, The Great Reformer.

In another tweet, Dr. Ivereigh included the image of Doherty’s letter, with the message:

+CMOC clarifies in today’s Daily Telegraph letters page

Which lets us know that Doherty acted at the express direction of the Cardinal; somewhat reluctantly admitted, with the positive spin therein, by Dr. Ivereigh.  All this within the first week of the books publication!

All this, so far, by way of introduction. Now, I will cut to the chase, as it were:

Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope

What Ivereigh has, nevertheless, alleged and yet not denied, and what Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has not yet denied, as far as I know, is that votes were canvassed.

And paragraph 81 of John Paul II’s law, Universi Domini Gregis, makes that an excommunicatable offense.  Yesterday, I erred, when I said “certain” form of canvassing was prohibited. Today, looking at the Latin original of the law, it appears rather than all forms of vote canvassing are prohibited.

Let’s take a look, then, at the Latin original, to understand better how, not just any specific form of vote canvassing is a crime according to the Pope who “brought down the Wall”:

81. Cardinales electores praeterea abstineant ab omnibus pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus aliisque quibusvis obligationibus, quibus astringi possint ad suffragium cuidam vel quibusdam dandum aut recusandum. Quae omnia, si reapse intervenerint, etiam iure iurando adiecto, decernimus ea nulla et irrita esse, neque eadem observandi obligatione quemquam teneri; facientes contra iam nunc poena excommunicationis latae sententiae innodamus. Vetari tamen non intellegimus, ne per tempus Sedis vacantis de electione sententiae invicem communicentur.

The official English translation from the Vatican Website, renders this text, thus:

81. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.

 This translation is not exact.  Here is my own exact translation:

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).  All of which, if these were to occur, even when with a foreswearing, We decree are null and void, and none of them are to be held by any obligation of observance; those acting against (this), We now, hereby, bind up with the punishment of excommunication latae sententiae.  Yet, We do not understand to be forbidden, that they communicate with one another concerning the election, during the time of the Sedevacante.

Now, the problem which arises for Pope Francis, from this, I have pointed out in my blog post yesterday, namely, that an election in which those who might fall under excommunication for violation of this law, expressed in n. 81, might be contested as to its validity.  This on account of the general norm of Canon Law (canon 171,  § 2), which expressly declares invalid the elections of those who obtained the required number only in virtue of votes of those who were  excommunicated at the time of the election (cf. 171, § 1, 3°).

Such excommunication could be by special or general declaration, of a superior or by a law.  Thus, the papal Law on Elections.

The sticky wicket, as it were, is that the common objection one hears to such formerly hypothetical discussions is that paragraph n. 35, of the Apostolic Constitution withstands this interpretation.

Let’s quote that here, for the importance that it is due.  The text of this paragraph was slightly altered by Pope Benedict XVI, in his decree, Normals nonnullas, just a month before the conclave of 2013.  The modified text reads:

No. 35. “No Cardinal elector can be excluded from active or passive voice in the election of the Supreme Pontiff, for any reason or pretext, with due regard for the provisions of Nos. 40 and 75 of this Constitution.”

(The small addition of the citation to n. 75, is all that was made.)

Any objection on the basis of paragraph 35, which would counter the claim of an invalid election on account of excommunicated voters, seems very probable at first inspection, but fails the test of a strict reading of papal law.

Because, if paragraph 35 excused doubt of the validity of an election in which excommunicated Cardinal electors participated, as a similar provision in the law of Pope Pius XII did do, then, there would have been no need for Pope John Paul II in his own law, which abrogated all the terms of previous papal laws specifically regarding Papal Elections, to state in n. 78 (see yesterdays report for text) the necessity of indulging an election, in which simony was involved, with validity, to remove all such doubts arising from a general norm of canon law or a specific penalty regarding simony. And thus, if there is a general norm or specific penalty which invalidates elections for other reasons, then one must presume it remains in force (cf. Canons 20 & 21).

Moreso, because paragraph 35 does not regard specifically the validity of elections, only the right of the Cardinals to vote  But Canon 171, § 2 does not deny the right of excommunicated electors to vote, only the validity of elections in which they participate. These are 2 separate things; and according to the norms of canonical interpretation, the distinction must be recognized as that which was intended by the legislator.² This interpretation seems more probable, because of Canon 164, which applies the entire section of canons regarding elections to all ecclesiastical elections,³ and because of the norm of canonical interpretation, that laws which do not expressly or directly conflict, are not to be understood as doing so. Thus, the failure to explicitly include the words “or excommunication” in paragraph 35 of UDG, lends to the credence that it does not abrogate Canon 171, § 1, 3°, the validity of the election in which such voters participating, being apparently annulled in some such cases, consequently, in virtue of Canon 171, §2.

Thus, the allegations of Ivereigh + the terms of Universi Dominic Gregis, n. 81 = a Radical problem for the legitimacy of Cardinal Bergoglio’s claim to the Papacy.

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FOOTNOTES

¹ And this without any apparent reference to Canon 171.  For just as it seems incredible that Pope John Paul II in UDC would allow the mad (Canon 171, § 1, 1°) or the schismatic (4°) to vote; hence, similarly, neither those mentioned in 3°, the excommunicated. Thus, it seems more probable that paragraph 35 in UDC is reaffirms the right of the Cardinals not to fall under of Canon 171, § 1, 2° by any claim that might arise during the Conclave from other Cardinals’ accusations.

² However, I remain in the opinion, regarding these matters, as one who is a mere student of Canon Law, not an expert, and certainly not as one whose opinion on how to read it, is anything probative of itself.

³ Including Conclaves: cf. the commentary contained in Codice di Diritto Canonico, a cura di Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Colletti a San Pietro 2004, p. 163.

(Updated Nov. 29 15:15 Rome time)