Tag Archives: Team Bergoglio

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

UDG 5 and Canon 1530

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

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

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

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

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

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

Canon 1530 guarantees the right to investigate charges

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

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

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

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

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

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

Francis became Pope thanks to Belgian Cardinal Danneels

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

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

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

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

Conspiracy theory

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

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

_________________________

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Verifiable evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Team Bergoglio” and the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro
Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

Rome, January 10, 2015:  It has been a little over 111 years ago, since another controversial Conclave met and elected a now famous Pope.  That was the Conclave of August 1903, and the Cardinal elected was St. Giuseppe Sarto, who took the name Pius X.

Several historians, basing themselves on the testimony of none other than Cardinal Merry Del Val and Cardinal Matthieu in the last hundred years have sustained that that Conclave was marked by a remarkable occurrence, the veto by the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef I, against one of the leading contenders, Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, the Secretary of State of Pope Leo XIII.  The motivation of this intervention has been attributed by Msgr. Jouin and Craig Heimbichner (the latter in his book, Blood and Altar) to the association of Cardinal Rampolla with French Freemasonry.

The curious Conclave of 1903 had a curious consequence: that during the reign of Pope St. Pius X, the followers of Cardinal Rampolla who were raised to the dignity of the episcopate, where ordained by the Pope, and those of the Pope by Cardinal Rampolla.  In the first case, the co-consecrators were either both or at least in one individual, themselves bishops ordained by Cardinal Rampolla.

Does this indicate a sort of compromise in the Conclave itself, by which the Catholic Cardinals and the Cardinals who were Freemasons came to some agreement, not to contest the validity of the election of Pope St Pius X?

Cardinal Rampolla passed away suddenly on Dec. 16, 1913, exactly 23 years before the birthday of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born Dec. 17, 1936.

In any event, it is noticeable that the members of “Team Bergoglio” can trace their episcopal lineage back to Cardinal Rampolla and Pope St. Pius X in such wise as to both seemingly confirm the existence of such a compromise and to mark “Team Bergoglio” as the ecclesiastical heirs of the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro.

But don’t take my word on it, go to catholic-hierarchy.org and check for yourself.  Here I will summarize what I have found there among the lists of the episcopal lineages of the alleged members of  “Team Bergoglio”.

An episcopal lineage is the list of names of the principal consecrators of each bishop in the line extending from the bishop ordained back to the Apostles.  Episcopal lineages have been traced in the Roman Rite back to the 15th century.  When reading a lineage, the first named is the one consecrated, the next his principal consecrator, the next the principal consecrator of the principal consecrator.  When ordained a bishop, every bishop is ordained by 3 bishops, the principal and 2 co-consecrators, which are normally chosen by the individual to be ordained.  This can, thus, give some indication of the allegiance of the one to be ordained to existing factions withing the Sacred Hierarchy.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

His direct episcopal lineage can be traced thus:  Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a bishop on June 27, 1992, by

Thus, Cardinal Bergoglio is a direct episcopal “descendant” and “heir” of the Rampolla legacy.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Next, the alleged ring-leader of “Team Bergoglio”, who was consecrated a bishop on Dec. 21, 1977, by

Cardinal Giambattista della Chiesa was the personal secretary and close ally of Cardinal Rampolla, from the time that the latter was Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. Cardinal della Chiesa was ordained a bishop, however, by Pope St. Pius X.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Next, one of the members of “Team Bergoglio”, whom Dr. Ivereigh names in his book, but whom is not one of the 4 who have made public denials, is the Cardinal of Vienna, who was consecrated a bishop on Sept. 29, 1991 by

Thus, Cardinal Schönborn is a direct episcopal “descendant” and “heir” of the Cardinal Rampolla legacy.

Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló

Next, one of the members of “Team Bergoglio”, whom Dr. Ivereigh names in his book, but whom is not one of the 4 who have made public denials, is the Cardinal-Archpriest of Santa Maria Maggiore, who was consecrated a bishop on June 16, 1985 by

Cardinal Giambattista della Chiesa was the personal secretary and close ally of Cardinal Rampolla, from the time that the latter was Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. Cardinal della Chiesa was ordained a bishop, however, by Pope St. Pius X.

Other alleged members of the Team trace back to Cardinal Gasparri

Other alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” are Cardinals Godfreid Danneels, Karl Lehman and Walter Kasper all descend from Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, whose episcopal lineage does not cross Cardinal Rampolla. Similarly, Cardinal André Armand Vingt-Trois of Paris, another named member, who has made no public denials, traces his lineage back to Cardinal François-Marie-Benjamin Richard de la Vergne, who was the principal consecrator of Cardinal Gasparri.

However, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri himself has been accused of being a collaborator with Cardinal Rampolla in opposing the reforms of Pope St. Pius X, in particular, the effort to extirpate the heresy of Modernism among the upper clergy.

Other implicated Cardinals

The text of Ivereigh also implicates Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, and the African Cardinals, such as Cardinal Napier of Durban.  Both of these Cardinals have lineages tracing back to Cardinal Gaetano De Lai, both of whose co-consecrators were themselves consecrated principally by Cardinal Rampolla.

Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account

and have heard nothing that contradicts it.

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

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

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

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

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

I made two mistakes in the phrasing of my account. One was to give the impression that the group of cardinals seeking Bergoglio’s election in some way secured his agreement before the conclave, which they never did; I meant only that they believed that this time he would not refuse. Immediately after that sentence, I wrote: “Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the church no cardinal could refuse if asked.” In fact, that exchange did not take place before the conclave, but during it.(1)

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

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

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

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

Our Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

____________________________

FOOTNOTES

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

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

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

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

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

————-

Updated on Jan. 10, 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The crime against UDG 81

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

The penalties in virtue of Canon 1329 expand to Cardinal Bergoglio

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

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio had by 78 votes

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

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

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

What must now be done

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canon 171 can invalidate a Papal Election

So Says noted Canonist, Jesús Miñambres

Rome — January 5, 2015:  In previous reports made by the From Rome blog, we have speculated (here & here) that the actions alleged by Dr. Austen Ivereigh as done by the group of Cardinals who promoted the candidacy of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave might well fall under those penalized by the papal law on elections, Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81 (hereafter UDG 81, cf. canon 1329 which expands its penalties for accomplices), and thus render the election invalid on account of the stipulations of canon 171 §1 & §2.

Now, we can report that the noted canonist, Fr. Jesús Miñambres, JCD — currently an Professor in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, in Rome; and consultor for the Congregation for the Clergy — in his published commentary on the papal law, entitled, “Commento alla Costituzione Apostolica Universi dominici gregis”, supports this canonical possibility.  We cite his commentary as cited in the Italian text of Geraldina Boni, herself a canonist, presented by Sandro Magister at Espresso Online:

«N. 68 La prescrizione di questo numero è più esigente della norma generale applicabile ad ogni elezione canonica (cf. can. 173 § 3 CIC e can. 955 § 3 CCEO), per quanto il numero delle schede potrebbe non corrispondere a quello degli elettori sia per eccesso che per difetto. Pare escludersi in questo modo la possibilità dell’astensione […]. La norma del numero seguente prevede, però, un caso nel quale, dopo un primo conteggio che sembra regolare, il ritrovamento di una quantità maggiore di schede riguardo a quella degli elettori al momento dello spoglio non annulla la votazione.

«N. 69. La nullità di uno o più voti non rende invalida l’elezione, giacché al momento dello spoglio non è più in gioco la validità della votazione ma soltanto quella dei singoli voti; il caso delle due schede piegate in modo strano non è che un’esemplificazione. Infatti, in mancanza di regolamentazione più precisa è applicabile anche all’elezione del romano pontefice il principio generale per le elezioni canoniche stabilito dal CIC: i requisiti di validità del voto vengono elencati nel can. 172 CIC, mentre quelli riguardanti la validità dell’elezione sono ripresi nei cann. 166 § 3, 169 e 170. Il can. 171 § 2 stabilisce l’unica fattispecie in cui la nullità di un voto fa invalidare l’elezione, quando uno dei votanti fosse inabile a norma del § 1 dello stesso canone e, tolto quel voto, l’eletto non avesse riportato il numero di preferenze richiesto» (7).

Our unofficial English translation of which is as follows:

N. 68.  The prescription of UDG 68 is more exacting than the general norm applicable to every canonical election (cf. canon 173 § 3 of the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983 and canon 955 § 3 of the Codex for the Oriental Churches), inasmuch as the number of ballots might not correspond to that of the electors whether by excess or deficiency.  In this manner, it seems to exclude the possibility that an elector might abstain from voting … The norm of this number provides, however, for the case in which after a first count which appears regular, that the finding of a greater quantity of ballots than the number of electors, at the moment of the emptying of the box, does not invalidate the votation.

N. 69.  The nullity of one or more vote-ballots does not render the election invalid, since at the moment of the emptying of the ballot box the validity of the election is not put in question, but only that of the individual votes; the case of two vote-ballots folded in a strange manner is not an exception.  In fact, in absence of a more precise regulation there is applicable even to the election of the Roman Pontiff the general principle for canonical elections established by the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983:  the requirements for validity for a vote are listed in canon 172, while those regarding the validity of the election are cited in canons 166 §3, 169 and 170.  Canon 171 §2 establishes the unique fatispecie under which the nullity of a vote causes the invalidity of the election, when one of the voters might be incapable according to the norm of §1 of the same canon, and with his vote removed, the elected would not have obtained the number required for election (7).

The footnote (7) in Geraldina Boni’s text reads as follows:

(7) Jesús Miñambres, “Commento alla Costituzione Apostolica ‘Universi dominici gregis'”, in Legislazione sull’organizzazione centrale della Chiesa, a cura di Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Javier Canosa, Jesús Miñambres, Giuffrè, Milano, 1997, pp. 79-81; nello stesso senso Mario Francesco Pompedda, “Commento alla ‘Constitutio Apostolica'”, cit., p. 354.

It is precisely this possibility which the From Rome blog has averred to from the start, which establishes the validity of our analysis from the beginning.

Sandro Magister speaks about the invalidity of the 2013 Conclave

La traduzione italiana segue

First, an excerpt from our Chronology of reports regarding “Team Bergoglio”

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.

Our Critique

As for Sandro Magister’s argument, set forth in his article at Espresso Online, it is worth no more than Boni’s argument.

But, Geraldina Boni’s argument fails in this, that she builds her argument upon the assertion that the re-do of the votation on account of an extra-ballot is of itself not a violation of UDG 63, which specifies that 4 ballots a-day are alone permitted.  She fails to recognize that in the fulfillment of every section of UDG, no violation of UDG 63 can be made or excused.  It is preposterous to assert what she asserts, because on account of what is said in the text of UDG’s Promulgation, at its very end, there is declared null and void anything and everything done contrary to the terms set forth in the papal law.

The authentic dispute regards the meanding of the Latin text in UDG 68, in which the Latin text reads:

Quodsi schedularum numerus non respondet numero electorum, omnes comburendae sunt, et iterum, id est altera vice, ad suffragia ferenda procedatur; si vero schedularum numerus numero electorum respondet, subsequitur publicatio scrutinii, quae hoc modo fit.

Our unofficial English translation is as follows:

Wherefore, if the number of vote-ballots does not correspond to the number of electors, all are to be completely burnt, and one is to proceed to take, again, that is, another time, the ballots; but if the number of vote-ballots corresponds with the number of electors, there follows the publication of the count, which is to be done in this manner:

Because in Latin, the phrase means that there follows another vote, which is not made on the basis of the first one being considered as if it was never done, as Boni holds (tamquam non esset), but as the second of two, for in Latin “another” can be signified in 2 manners: with the word, alia, and then one means another without relation to the first; and altera, which is always said in relation to the first, in the sense of something to be counted as a second.  The Latin text, lacking the specification that Boni would have it contain (the “tamquam non esset”, i. e., as if the first never took place), must be read in the strict sense of a redo, and thus another scrutiny.

That Socci’s argument is more probable can be seen from the text of UGD 63, 64, and 65, where a scrutiny is defined precisely as the entire process of voting (suffragia ferenda), sorting, counting, publishing.  That there are only 4 of these suffragia, means that when it says in UDG 68 that one is to proceed to taking the suffragium again, that the suffragium is to be counted as one of the 4 allowed.  This argument of Socci is more probable; that of Boni appears based on the meaning of the Italian word, “altra”, which does not have the precision of the Latin, “altera”.

However, that the contrary of Socci’s argument seems probable, is from the plural used in the same phrase, ad suffragia ferenda (one proceeds take the ballots, suffragia), because the Latin could have said, ad alterum sive alium suffragium ferendum, that is, “to take a second or another ballot”, but it uses the plural, which at least in Cardinal Napier’s mind (see his Twitter feed), means the taking of the votes (suffragia), not an entire scrutiny (scrutinium).

The papal law itself, should, in our opinion, be corrected to read:  and within the same scrutiny, one is to proceed to another taking of the ballots, as if the erroneous balloting never was (et iterum infra idem scrutinium ad suffragia ferenda procedatur tanquam prima mendosa non illata sint).

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La traduzione italiana, a cura di Antonio Marcantonio

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Sandro Magister si esprime sulla nullità del conclave del 2013

Cominciamo con un estratto dalla nostra Cronologia dei reportage sul “Team Bergoglio”.

5 gennaio 2015: Espresso Online pubblica l’articolo di Sandro Magister È lui il Papa. Eletto in piena regola, che contiene in appendice la citazione di uno studio della canonista Geraldina Boni, in cui la tesi di Antonio Socci viene contestata in modo insoddisfacente (il testo completo della Boni in italiano è stato pubblicato contemporaneamente qui), dato che l’affermazione di Socci secondo la quale non si possono fare più di quattro scrutini al giorno è corretta. In realtà, affermando che – qualora uno scrutinio fosse stato annullato per via della presenza di una scheda bianca in sovrannumero (UDG 68) non si sarebbe verificata alcuna violazione delle regole (UDG 63) – la Boni non fa altro che contestare l’asserzione di Socci con un’altra asserzione. L’articolo fa anche dei vaghi riferimenti al “Team Bergoglio”, senza tuttavia dedicare una consistente attenzione al paragrafo 81 della UDG. Il fatto che Sandro Magister consideri degni di oppugnazione gli argomenti che sostengono la nullità dell’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio è comunque in se stesso sorprendente.

La nostra critica

L’argomentazione espressa da Sandro Magister nel suo articolo su Espresso Online non è di maggior valore di quella della Boni.

L’argomentazione di Geraldina Boni non è valida perché si fonda sull’affermazione secondo la quale la ripetizione dello scrutinio dovuta a una scheda addizionale non sia in se stessa una violazione del paragrafo 63 della UDG, in cui si specifica che sono consentiti solo quattro scrutini al giorno. La canonista non ammette – come dovrebbe – che affinché si compia l’osservanza completa di tutte le sezioni della UDG, nessuna violazione della UDG 63 può essere fatta o giustificata. La sua affermazione non ha senso: in ragione di quanto è espresso nel testo della Promulgazione della UDG (nella parte finale del documento), si dichiara del tutto privo di valore tutto ciò che venga attentato contro i termini stabiliti dalla costituzione papale.

Il vero nucleo della disputa risiede nell’interpretazione del testo latino del paragrafo 68 della UDG, in cui si legge:

Quodsi schedularum numerus non respondet numero electorum, omnes comburendae sunt, et iterum, id est altera vice, ad suffragia ferenda procedatur; si vero schedularum numerus numero electorum respondet, subsequitur publicatio scrutinii, quae hoc modo fit.

La nostra traduzione non ufficiale è la seguente:

Pertanto, se il numero di schede non corrisponde al numero degli elettori, esse devono essere tutte bruciate, e bisogna procedere di nuovo, vale a dire, un’altra volta, alla raccolta dei voti: ma se il numero delle schede corrisponde al numero degli elettori, si procede alla pubblicazione del conteggio, che deve essere fatto in questa maniera.

Il significato della frase latina lascia ben intendere che la votazione che segue è una nuova votazione e non – come vorrebbe la Boni – una votazione fatta come se la precedente non fosse mai avvenuta (tamquam non esset). È evidente che si tratta della seconda di due votazioni, poiché in latino l’espressione “un’altra” si può esprimere in due modi: con il termine alia – che significa “un’altra” che non ha relazione con “la precedente” – o con altera, termine la cui accezione implica sempre una relazione con “la precedente” e che esprime l’idea di qualcosa che deve essere contato come secondo rispetto all’anteriore. Dato che nel testo latino manca la specificazione erroneamente menzionata dalla Boni (quel “tamquam non esset” che significherebbe “come se la prima non avesse avuto luogo”), esso deve essere letto nel suo significato corretto di una ripetizione, e pertanto di un’altra votazione.

Il fatto che l’argomentazione di Socci sia più cogente è dimostrato proprio dal testo dei paragrafi 63, 64 e 65 della UDG, in cui uno scrutinio viene definito con precisione come l’intero processo costituito da: voto (suffragia ferenda), mescolamento e conteggio delle schede, spoglio dei voti. Dato che solo quattro di questi suffragia sono consentiti, il dettame del paragrafo 68 della UDG secondo il quale bisogna procedere a una ripetizione del suffragium implica che il suffragium che viene ripetuto deve essere contato come uno dei quatto permessi. L’argomentazione di Socci è più attendibile; quella della Boni sembra basarsi sul significato della parola italiana “altra”, che non ha la stessa precisa accezione del latino “altera”.

L’apparente attendibilità della confutazione della tesi di Socci deriva dal plurale utilizzato nella stessa frase, ad suffragia ferenda (si procede alla raccolta dei voti, suffragia): il testo latino, infatti, avrebbe anche potuto dire ad alterum sive alium suffragium ferendum, vale a dire “fare una seconda o un’altra votazione”, ed usa invece il plurale, il che – per lo meno secondo l’interpretazione del Cardinal Napier (vedi il feed del suo profilo Twitter) – significherebbe solamente la raccolta dei voti (suffragia), non l’intero processo di scrutinio (scrutinium).

La norma papale in sé, a nostro avviso, dovrebbe essere corretta come segue: “e all’interno dello stesso scrutinio, si deve procedere a un’altra votazione, come se la votazione errata non si fosse mai svolta” (et iterum infra idem scrutinium ad suffragia ferenda procedatur tanquam prima mendosa non illata sint).[1]

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 [1] Con le ultime due frasi l’autore, da me consultato in proposito, non vuole di certo ritrattare quanto detto prima, bensì specificare che – qualora si vogliano in futuro evitare ulteriori dubbi sull’interpretazione – il testo in latino andrebbe a suo avviso formulato con più chiarezza. Eventuali perplessità in merito nascono dalla differenza tra la schiettezza dello stile discorsivo anglosassone e la ridondanza di quello italiano. – N.d.T.

 

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In seguito, un’ anonima (Anna) ha pubblicato come commento al Blog, Chiesa e post Concilio, quest’analisi seguente

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La Boni scrive “Essendosi quindi applicato del tutto legittimamente il n. 68, tale quarta votazione dal punto di vista giuridico è incontestabilmente “tamquam non esset”, non andava quindi inclusa e computata fra quelle effettive, cioè giuridicamente valide e complete”.

Oltre alla obiezione fondata sul dato letterale del testo, che costituisce il primo criterio di interpretazione della norma (“..altera, termine la cui accezione implica sempre una relazione con “la precedente”….), potrebbe anche farsi riferimento alla ratio legis, cioè allo scopo che la norma intende raggiungere, l’interesse che tutela.

Se lo scopo del limite massimo di quattro votazioni al giorno è, come dice Socci (e non contestato dalla Boni), evitare un’elezione avventata, viziata da stress e stanchezza dei cardinali elettori, allora il numero da conteggiare per determinare il limite massimo giornaliero dovrebbe essere riferito alle votazioni, quali che siano, e non alle sole votazioni valide.

Le votazioni annullate, infatti, stressano allo stesso modo delle votazioni valide. La formula “tamquam non esset” certamente non è idonea a cancellare, con effetto retroattivo, la stanchezza degli elettori ed il tempo trascorso (cioè la votazione come fatto storico avvenuto), riferendosi piuttosto essa solo agli effetti giuridici e che un atto invalido è inidoneo a determinare.

Tra l’altro l’interpretazione proposta dalla Boni comporterebbe la improponibile conseguenza di consentire non solo cinque ma un numero indeterminato di votazioni nello stesso giorno, nel caso di ripetute violazioni delle norme elettorali, e dunque di ripetute votazioni” tamquam non esset”.

Va poi considerato che l’art. 63 prescrive un numero massimo di votazioni e non già di votazioni valide, quindi andrebbe ritenuta irrilevante la validità o meno della votazione al fine del conteggio del numero massimo di votazioni effettuabili in un giorno ( “Ubi lex voluit dixit, ubi noluit tacuit).

Non mi pare convincente nemmeno la ritenuta applicabilità del n. 68 – che prevede che se durante il conteggio delle schede lo scrutatore incaricato verifica, prendendole in maniera visibile una ad una dall’urna, che il numero delle schede non corrisponde al numero degli elettori, bisogna bruciarle e procedere ad una seconda votazione – invece che il n. 69 – che sancisce che se nello spoglio dei voti gli scrutatori trovassero due schede piegate in modo da sembrare compilate da un solo elettore, se esse portano lo stesso nome vanno conteggiate per un solo voto, se invece portano due nomi diversi, nessuno dei due voti sarà valido, ma in nessuno dei due casi viene annullato lo scrutinio – al caso in questione, in cui “durante l’estrazione delle schede dall’urna per la conta, lo scrutatore che prende una scheda alla volta e la mostra a tutti, prima di deporla nell’altra urna si è accorto che una di queste ne conteneva un’altra, per errore un porporato aveva deposto due foglietti nell’urna, uno con il nome del suo prescelto e uno in bianco, che era rimasto attaccato al primo”. La Boni fonda infatti le sue conclusioni unicamente sul fatto che tale scheda doppia sarebbe stata rinvenuta nella fase di conteggio (disciplinata dall’art. 68) e non in quella dello spoglio (disciplinato dall’art. 69) e, benché il caso (due schede piegate) fosse identico a quello previsto in modo specifico dall’art. 69 quest’ultimo non sarebbe applicabile perché le norme andrebbero applicate come suonano e non interpretate.

Non convince perché quella che viene proposta come applicazione della norma è in realtà una interpretazione di essa, al pari di quella di Socci.

Il caso in questione infatti è anomalo e non risulta disciplinato da nessuna delle due norme.

L’art. 68 disciplina il caso in cui il numero delle schede al momento del conteggio siano di numero diverso dal numero degli elettori, cioè, poiché , le schede sono introdotte nell’urna ripiegate e non vengono aperte al momento del conteggio, riguarda il numero dei “pieghi” introdotti nell’urna , mentre la seconda norma riguarda l’ipotesi di “pieghi” di numero uguale agli elettori (e infatti solo in questo caso si procede allo spoglio), che, una volta aperti, in uno o più casi, presentino “due schede piegate in modo da sembrare compilate da un soloelettore” .

Nel caso in questione un piego invece che essere conteggiato come tale è stato aperto e conteggiato due volte perché contenete due schede attaccate. Si tratta dunque di una ipotesi a cavallo tra le due norme, le quali vanno pertanto interpretate per stabilire quale delle due applicare ed in particolare se sia prevalente l’elemento della fase (conteggio invece che spoglio) o l’elemento dell’oggetto (non già numero di pieghi diverso dal numero degli elettori bensì due schede piegate in modo da sembrare compilate da un solo elettore.

La Boni ritiene di che non ci sia nulla da interpretare e dunque non spiega per quale ragione prevarrebbe il dato della fase rispetto a quello dell’oggetto. Socci invece argomenta, prevedendo peraltro l’obiezione mossagli, e tali argomentazioni non sembrano infondate.

In sostanza Socci ritiene che gli artt. 68 e 69 assumano come criterio di giudizio non il “quando” si è trovata la scheda in più ma il “come”. Diversamente i due articoli darebbero due soluzioni opposte al medesimo problema (una scheda in più) e sarebbero in totale contraddizione.

Inoltre le due norme intenderebbero al contempo impedire che un elettore possa votare due volte e salvaguardare il più possibile la validità della votazione, impedendo eventuali azioni di sabotaggio.

L’annullamento della votazione in caso di pieghi in più sarebbe necessario perché non potrebbe risalirsi alla coppia di schede gemelle cioè al singolo cardinale che avrebbe votato due volte, mentre tale soluzione drastica non occorrerebbe ove si trovassero le due schede fossero trovate piegate insieme, nel modo anzidetto. In questo caso l’art. 69 prevede infatti che se il voto è identico si conteggia una sola volta mentre se è diverso si annulla il voto, ma mai si annulla la votazione.

The “Team Bergoglio” Scandal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

No, your Eminence, the Church is not a tyranny!

peter

And She has not been such, since that December in Bethlehem!

AN EDITORIAL ON THE TEAM BERGOGLIO SCANDAL

I had the unique privilege and honor, today, to exchange some tweets with a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.  Our “conversation” arose in regard to the scandalous allegations and incomplete denials of the account given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former personal secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope.

His eminence is taking the news of the scandal very lightly, indeed.  He appears to be of the opinion that the problem is not so much in what Dr. Ivereigh has alleged, but in the way simple Catholics the world-over are reacting to those allegations and their very impartial denials.

I tried my best, to appeal to the simple logic and delicate reason of my interlocutor, thus:

If Mr. Q is accused of doing X, Y and Z; and in response, he says, “I want no misunderstandings to arise: I did not do Z”, that he has admitted, thereby, that he has done X and Y.

In response, his Eminence replied:

Have the feeling we won’t agree on this one…what you need to do is to support the Pope in carrying his heavy burden.

As you may know (if you don’t, then click the 2 previous links in this article), Dr. Ivereigh has alleged that as many as 30 Cardinals in the days before the Conclave of 2013, conspired to fix the election procedure by making the first vote in the Conclave give precedence to the candidacy of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

In response, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the spokesman for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, have not denied the substance or extent of the allegations only 2 minor details.

The resulting agreement of the 4 Cardinals and Dr. Ivereigh regarding all the other details is giving rise in the minds of many Catholics to a valid doubt regarding the legitimacy of Cardinal Bergoglio’s claim to the papacy.

Thus, I confess myself, not a little shocked at the Cardinal’s reply regarding Mr. Q.  And thus, wish to publicly state, for the record, my own opinion regarding the affair, and say:

No, your Eminence: the Church is not a tyranny!

The unity of the Church, being founded by Christ in the person of St. Peter and His successors, cannot NOT be injured greatly by the allegations of a violation of paragraph 81 of the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, regarding Papal elections.

This is because, the Sacred College of Cardinals, in its right by positive and customary law to elect the Roman Pontiff, is the crucial link binding the person elected as Pope with the entire Church, in Her duty to recognize the validity of his election.  And, that Sacred College, as stated in the papal law, must elect the Roman Pontiff in according within the terms of that law.  Moreover Canon Law itself, which the papal Law does not abrogate, specifies that excommunicated persons cannot validly vote (canon 171 §1)  or be elected to any office (canon 1331).  Thus, if the Sacred College gives the impression that the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh and their implicit confirmation by 4 Cardinals, are of no import, they will err very gravely and put the Church in a serious crisis.

This is because the Church Herself is not required to accept whomsoever the Sacred College chooses.  And this is confirmed by the papal law itself, which states that the election, if it proceed in any manner which violates the terms established, is null and void.  Furthermore, the Church is not required to hold communion with those who have merited excommunication (canon 1331, §2), nor with a candidate who was promoted to victory by means of illegal vote-canvassing (cf. UDG 81 & canon 171 §2).

This fundamental right of the Church is derived from the liberty of the sons of God, given to each member of the Church in Baptism, which constitutes the Church as a holy and perfect society of laws, not a tyranny of ipso facto acts.

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

To bring an end to this kind of tyranny of sin, Our Lord was born from the Virgin Mary, at Bethlehem, 2014 years ago! Let us not forget His lovingly gentle call to dispossess ourselves of the idols of mendacity and greed and power, so as to do the will of Our Father, Who is in Heaven.

For this reason, just as the Church which would accept the unlawful election of a successor to St. Peter, would Herself lose the credibility necessary to preach the Gospel, and just as the Church’s essential mission is to preach the Gospel of Bethlehem, which is also the Gospel of the Holy Family; it would result that such a tacit acceptance of a doubtful Pope would contravene the authentic conscience of the Church Herself, and dissolve Her obligation of allegiance to such a candidate.

This is not a novel thesis, but one affirmed by notable theologians regarding the doubts had by Catholics during the Great Schism of the 14th-15th centuries. It is taught by no less than a Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, who said, “A doubtful pope is no pope”; hence, it follows that the Sacred College, in justice now, on account of the incomplete denials by the 4 Cardinals and the absence of all denial by the other 25+ accused Cardinals, address this controversy in Consistory and publicly resolve it for the sake of the unity of the Church.

Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations were made public on Nov. 23, 2014.  The special Consistory called by Pope Francis will meet on February 14-15, 2015.

The silence of the College to such grave accusations, therefore, after that date would be tantamount to the assertion of a tyranny: that the Sacred College was above the papal law, above Canon law, above all law: a tyranny the Catholic Church and the Bishops of the Catholic Church are not obliged to accept.

In all this, the fault is not that of simple Catholics who are stupefied by the scandalous accusations regarding “Team Bergoglio”, the fault is that of a very grave omission of the duty of our sacred Pastors to defend the good name of the Church.  Besides, if the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh are false, there is nothing lost, but only gain to be had by putting the scandal to rest. On the other hand, if they are true, then the Church will be greatly strengthened in Her reputation for transparency and justice in Her own most internal affairs, if Cardinal Bergoglio renounces his claim to the papacy and the Sacred College proceeds to a canonical election.

______________________

For a Chronology of Reports concerning the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, click here.

Cardinal Napier speaks about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Per una traduzione del articolo in italiano, qui

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

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

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

Dialoguing with a Cardinal

 

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

The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The improbity of the First Denial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The denial given by the Four Cardinals through Fr. Lombardi

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

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

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

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

The improbity of the Second Denial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canon 1329, § 2 reads, in the Latin:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________

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

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

As many as 30 Cardinals implicated in Vote-Canvassing Scandal

Per una traduzione Italiana

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

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

The Papal Decree which criminalizes Vote-Canvassing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Confession of the Crime

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

The Corroboratory Testimony & Evidence

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

The Narrative of the Conspiracy, according to Ivereigh

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

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

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

“They first secured his assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked.” (ibid.) — This Jesuitical response is what you would expect from a Cardinal-Jesuit; nevertheless, such a statement is morally equivalent to a sign of will giving consent, and in the context of a proposal to launch a campaign, it is also morally equivalent to a pact.  This is an excommunicatable offense given the context of the offer of a campaign. A conscientious man, observant of the law of the conclave, would have added a sign that he repudiated an organized campaign, if only out of charity for the campaigners, who would thereby fall foul of the papal law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For this reason, and because the organizers of his campaign stayed carefully below the radar, the Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media, and to this day most vaticanisti believe there / was no organized pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected.

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

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

Numerous Cardinals are implicated

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

A total of 7 Cardinals in the team.

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

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

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

Astounding!

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

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FOOTNOTE

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

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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.