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.

Advertisements

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.

4 Ways the “Team Bergoglio” Revelations undo Francis’ papacy

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, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)

Editorial — Rome, Dec. 7, 2014:  The scandalous and shocking revelations regarding the manipulation of the electoral process during the recent conclave, which elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff, have cut and the very heart of confidence in the papacy of Pope Francis.  While this blog, From Rome, has refrained for 2 weeks from editorializing on the news, in this post, on the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, it seems proper to draw out the moral and political consequences of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s revelations for the Catholic World.

As we recalled yesterday:

The Church according to the oft declared teaching of Pope Francis, himself, should not be a place where the powerful silence the weak or hide behind their offices like aristocratic princes, concerning whom no action can be questioned and nothing untoward be imputed, regardless of whether it is true.  For this reason, the “Team Bergoglio” story, whose history has been chronicled here at this blog (see here), represents one of the greatest challenges to the integrity, transparency and honesty of the Bergoglian papacy, if not its very validity in law.

Yet, as that chronicle details, the revelations and denials and the alterations of the narrative published by Dr. Ivereigh, for the reasons Ivereigh gave on his twitter feeds and in recent reports, belie that image.

First of all, because the foundation of popular confidence in any modern government is the fulfilled expectation of fairness in the highest levels of government.  Catholics the world-over, especially those from the more influential, affluent West, who keep the Vatican supplied with funds in the form of alms, have a deep conviction that the selection of the Pope should follow the rules and seek a candidate in an honest manner.  A short-cut of those rules, by a cleverly manipulated maneuver destroys that confidence.  The point is not so much whether such things happened in the past: the whole tenor of ecclesiastical politics since Vatican II has been to break with the traditions of the past, in the name of greater conformity of the Gospel. A return to the carnal machinations of medieval times, thus, will only redound to a loss of respect and confidence in the Papacy of Cardinal Bergoglio.

The disgust at such politic-ing prior to the Conclave was most eloquently expressed by one anonymous commentator, days ago, when he wrote:

A former member of a religious order with American and European members told me that everyone was instructed not to caucus before the order’s elections, and the Americans dutifully complied. Oddly enough, even though the Americans were a majority, the leadership elected was always European. After he left, another former priest who was French confided that the Europeans ALWAYS caucused.

Thus, if the papal law on elections of the Roman Pontiff, known by its Latin title, Universi Dominic Gregis (UDG), specifies that there is to be no vote canvassing of any kind in n. 81 of that document, the advantage had by those who do canvass for votes, is immeasurable, so long as every penalty which could arise from such a high-crime can be avoided.

And it is just that, which every “Team Bergoglio” apologist who has come out of the wood-work in recent days, has advocated:  total impunity for violation of the rules of the Conclave.

This impunity would arise, if UDG 81 imposed a penalty which had no effect as regards the general ecclesiastical law expressed in canon 171, which would otherwise nullify elections in which those penalized by UDG 81 with excommunication participated under the conditions it details.  For if the rules when violated infer upon the guilty no canonical effect, then there are the greatest motives to violate the Conclave rules by all means possible and necessary to get your candidate elected.  Something equivalent, in a perverse sense, to the addage, the victor takes all.

Rules will always be observed by the conscientious; therefore, a just and orderly society must punish severely those who do not follow the rules, for otherwise, the criminal will be advantaged by the mere existence of rules not enforced. And this is diametrically opposed to end for which rules and laws are promulgated.

Second, the discrepancies in the carefully worded denials of Dr. Ivereigh’s claims makes it appear that the claims are true.  This is simple logic.  What Dr. Ivereigh recounts in his book on Pope Francis, The Great Reformer: the Making of a Radical Pope, is given in a straight-forward, matter-of-fact manner, without any intention or motive to make Cardinal Bergoglio appear to be anything other than he is.  It is for that reason a book to be valued for all future historians who wish to know Bergoglio the man.  And for that reason, the testimony of Dr. Ivereigh has a high probity to it.  This probity is the higher in the case of the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, because, as this blog has demonstrated, Dr. Ivereigh was present in Rome for the Conclave in 2013, both before and afterwards, and during that time he confessed to have met with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, the alleged head of “Team Bergoglio”.  Even the Cardinal himself, as reported here at the From Rome blog, admits to having lead the effort to get Bergoglio elected, and to have had confidence in that effort as of March 12, 2014.

Thus the claim by the English Cardinal, issued by his spokeswoman, Maggie Doherty, in the form of a letter to the editor, in the Nov. 25 Monday edition of the Telegraph newspaper is beyond belief for its form and content.  In it, Doherty declares that the English Cardinal did not obtain the assent of Cardinal Bergoglio to campaign for him.  Who is there, in the entire world, who thinks that Cardinals of the Roman Church, renowned for their sense of propriety and good-manners, would ever canvass for votes prior to asking the prospective candidate for his consent? Why would a Cardinal spend so much time organizing such an effort, if the candidate himself had not expressed formal explicit consent?  And why would any Cardinals cooperate with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor in such a campaign, if he had told them that Cardinal Bergoglio had not given his consent.  There were no restrictions on movement during the Conclave: any Cardinal could have confirmed with Cardinal Bergoglio his views on such a matter.  If Cardinal Bergoglio did not give his assent by word or sign, the campaign would never have gotten off the ground. For these reasons the denial given by Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, if it is not entirely false, must be wholly misleading:  consent must have been given, those asking for such a consent and those giving it, therefore, must either be those denied for having done so, or intermediaries which they chose for this purpose, so as to provide a plausible deniability to the affair.

The carefully worded denial, issued by means of unofficial channels by Fr. Frederico Lombardi leads to the same conclusion.  That denial, in our own unofficial English translation from the Italian, declared in Fr. Lombard’s name:

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.

For it is morally impossible that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor by himself could have conducted such a campaign, as he and the Pope both admitted to (reported in the Wall Street Journal article from August 6, 2013) without the assistance of other Cardinals.  And as the English Cardinal admitted in his interview with the Catholic Herald last year, he was recognized by the newly elected Pope for having been chiefly responsible.  The claims, therefore, by his former secretary, who admitted publicly to having had meet with his former boss, “the other day”, in his March 12, 2013 BBC appearance, that he did organize it in company with other Cardinals cannot be dismissed.  Especially since another report, by journalists of the Wall Street Journal, published in August of 2013, expressly names Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and another alleged member of “Team Bergoglio”, Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, USA, as having attended a dinner for the express purpose of discussing candidates for the Papal Throne in the days prior to the Conclave’s opening on March 12th.  Thus, one arrives as the same conclusion as before:  the denial given by Fr. Lombardi must be discounted as either entirely false, or wholly misleading.  The manner in which it was given, though a blog, rather than in the presence of journalists accredited to the Vatican, makes it appear also, as being given to squelch further inquiry, rather than to truthfully put a false controversy to an end. Finally, no denials have been issued regarding other alleged members of “Team Bergoglio”: Cardinals O’Malley and Santos Abril y Castello.

Third, since the very nature of the Catholic Church is a society internally bound together by the mutual and voluntary commitment of it members, the consequences of grave and substantial doubt, as has been raised by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal will be the diminishing of and/or unraveling of such unity of moral commitment.  This is because, before God, Catholics believe deeply that they are not obliged to obey a superior who does not hold his office legitimately, in accord with the fundamental rules of the Church, known as Canon Law.  This is especially true, when a superior commands something which subjects believe or recognize as incoherent with the Catholic Faith.  The revelations of Dr. Ivereigh add to this, since the whole purpose of his book is to show that the former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenas Aires has spent his entire ecclesiastical career promoting a concept of faith which is completely at odds with that which has been taught by the Catholic Church for 2000 years:  a non-dogmatic pratical approach, which would promise salvation to all without any —or at least much less — necessary discipleship to Christ Jesus as teacher of truth, doctrine or morals.

Fourth, since as much as the Catholic faithful, especially clergy and religious come to believe that the results of the 2013 Conclave are invalidated by the machinations of “Team Bergoglio”, expressly penalized with excommunication by UDG 81, the more opportunity will arise for outright rebellion and schism in the Church against the rule of Pope Francis.  For if he is not validly elected, and if the members of “Team Bergoglio” are excommunicated, then Catholics must refuse communion with them all.

For all these reasons, we believe that the truth of the “Team Bergoglio” affair needs to be revealed and a most severe punishment needs to be leveled; and all doubt as to the validity of Pope Francis’ election must be removed.  And there seems no way to do that, in a manner that would be acceptable to all, unless as UDG n. 5 lays out, the College of Cardinals is convened in special consistory, into which Pope Francis enters with the humility necessary to abdicate if necessary.  For there is no greater love, than to lay down one’s papacy for the sake of the salvation of the consciences of the weak little lambs in Christ’s Fold.

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.

Ivereigh knew of UDG 81 on March 12, 2013

BBC Live broadcast on March 12, 2013 at 17:03, with Dr. Austen Ivereigh and Msgr. Mark Langham

BBC Live broadcast on March 12, 2013 at 17:03, with Dr. Austen Ivereigh and Msgr. Mark Langham (Sreen shot by From Rome blog).

Rome, Dec. 6, 2014:  Since the news that the new book by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman for the Cardinal of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, contained allegations that a group of Cardinals canvassed for the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, numerous news outlets the world over have covered the story.  The group of 4 to 7 Cardinals, whom Ivereigh nicknames, “Team Bergoglio”, “shocked and disappointed” by the revelations have take the extreme action of having Fr. Frederico Lombardi issue a carefully worded denial through the Italian News Blog, Il Sismografo (published by co-workers from Radio Vaticana).

The probity of Dr. Ivereigh’s testimony concerning the vote-canvassing campaign has been subject to question the world over in the last 2 weeks.  For this reason, the From Rome blog considers it important to publish information regarding other sources which corroborate or disprove Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations, to shed further light on which of the two parties Dr. Ivereigh or the Cardinals are telling the truth.

The Church according to the oft declared teaching of Pope Francis, himself, should not be a place where the powerful silence the weak or hide behind their offices like aristocratic princes, concerning whom no action can be questioned and nothing untoward be imputed, regardless of whether it is true.  For this reason, the “Team Bergoglio” story, whose history has been chronicled here at this blog (see here), represents one of the greatest challenges to the integrity, transparency and honesty of the Bergoglian papacy, if not its very validity in law.

Ivereigh knew of UDG 81 before the Conclave of 2013 began

That Dr. Ivereigh’s testimony in the print edition of his book has great probity, arises not only from the fact that he is former secretary to the very Cardinal who is implicated as the point-man for “Team Bergoglio” (Murphy-O’Connor), but also from the fact that he personally covered the news of the 2013 Conclave, blogging about it for Our Sunday Visitor and speaking on Television for the BBC.  The video excerpt was posted on YouTube by Catholic Voices on February 22, 2014, ostensibly by Dr. Ivereigh himself.

In a telling report, filed by the BBC on March 12, 2013, the day before the Conclave began, Dr. Ivereigh shows himself knowledgeable of the papal rule forbidding canvassing for votes.

The interview took place at 17:03 local time, during the very act in which the Cardinal Electors took their vows to uphold the secrecy of the Conclave.  Among which electors is seen Cardinal Bergoglio. Interviewed are Msgr. Mark Langham and Dr. Austen Ivereigh, founder of Catholic Voices.

The BBC reporter starts the conversation with an implication which seems to suggest all which The Great Reformer, the book by Dr. Ivereigh, is saying about “Team Bergoglio”, when the former says at 0:56 minutes: The way that one would want to write about this is to talk about the intrigue and the plotting and the scheming

 At 4:30, Dr. Ivereigh admits that he knows of UDG 81’s prescription that the Cardinals are excluded from canvassing pacts, saying, The norms governing the Conclave make sure that there should be no pacts, no agreements…

And at 12:05, Dr. Ivereigh furthermore admits to having met with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and discussed the pre-conclave affairs.

This interview by Dr. Ivereigh thus confirms, both that he had personal first hand knowledge of the requirements of the Papal Law, as well as personal contact with one member of “Team Bergoglio” in the days in which he now claims in his book, the vote-canvassing campaign was conducted.  That makes his testimony on the affair, given in his book, of the highest probity.

Therefore, let us review again, the papal laws by which such a campaign could lead to an invalid election of the Pope.

The Terms of UDG 81, Excommunicate Electors for Voting Agreements

All who participated in the Conclave are by Pope John Paul II’s aforementioned Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis (UDG), paragraph 81 to avoid vote canvassing:

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:¹

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 having sworn an oath, 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.

The Terms of Canon 171, §2 Invalidate elections in which Excommunicated Electors participate

 What makes the revelations of Dr. Ivereigh so challenging to the papacy of Cardinal Bergoglio is that Canon 171 invalidates elections in which the number of votes required for victory was obtained by the counting of votes from electors who were excommunicated at the time of the voting.  This Canon sanctions not only those who sought votes, but also those who agreed to give them.  If the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh are true, then as many as 16 Cardinals, the number reported to have initially voted for Cardinal Bergoglio in the first ballot, would be suspect, and thus the final vote of 78 votes, which is only 2 more than the required 78, would be in doubt as to its validity.

Here is the official Latin text of Canon 171:

Can. 171 — § 1. Inhabiles sunt ad suffragium ferendum:

1° incapax actus humani;

2° carens voce activa;

3° poena excommunicationis innodatus sive per sententiam iudicialem sive per decretum quo poena irrogatur vel declaratur;

4° qui ab Ecclesiae communione notorie defecit.

§ 2. Si quis ex praedictis admittatur, eius suffragium est nullum, sed electio valet, nisi constet, eo dempto, electum non rettulisse requisitum suffragiorum numerum.

Here is the official English translation from the Vatican website:

Can. 171 §1. The following are effected to vote:

  • 1/ a person incapable of a human act;
  • 2/ a person who lacks active voice;
  • 3/ a person under a penalty of excommunication whether through a judicial sentence or through a decree by which a penalty is imposed or declared;
  • 4/ a person who has defected notoriously from the communion of the Church.

§ 2. If one of the above is admitted, the person’s vote is null, but the election is valid unless it is evident that, with that vote subtracted, the one elected did not receive the required number of votes.

That the Apostolic Constitution by Pope John Paul II, Universi Dominic Gregis, regulating papal elections is a decree in the sense mentioned in Canon 171 §1, n. 3, can be had from Canons 29 ff. on general decrees.

 

___________________

¹  In paragraph 81, the term suffragium in Latin has the proper meaning of “support”, but the technical meaning of “vote”.  In English, we say that one pledges his support for a candidate, to signify that one promises to vote for him at election time.

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.

.

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.

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.