Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Friday, 15 March 2013

Did Cardinal Sodano influence the outcome of the Papal Conclave?

Reports in the Italian press seem to indicate a certain influence and back-room dealing by the ever ubiquitous former Stato, Angelo Sodano. Corriere della Sere reports that former Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II may well have been involved in scuttling Angelo Cardinal Scola as Pope. A similar review is also carried in Lettera43La Stampa - Sodano, Bertone and a number of American Cardinals (e.g. Dolan, Wuerl) for various reasons moved the vote to an "acceptable" choice for all three. The former two due to personal reasons, the latter American lobby to select a candidate from outside the warring Italian factions - especially to the American hemisphere. 

Galeazzi from La Stampa: 

Scola's path to the Holy Throne was blocked by the confluence of two alliances and of two distinctly different evaluation systems: the non-European one (South America in particular), on the one hand, planned on bringing the papacy out of the old continent for the first time. On the other hand, there was the Curia group led by the nemesis-allegiance of Bertone and Sodano, who are inexorably hostile to Scola. The reason, according to certain voices in the Holy See, are a series of "ancient envies and rivalries”.

How authentic are these reports? Time will tell. What time has already told us, however, is that Cardinal Sodano was an incompetent and destructive force as Stato under the increasingly dysfunctional Pontificate of Pope John Paul II; especially as the late Holy Father became burdened down will illness and age. As Dean, Lettera43 suggests that the former Stato influenced the Conclave with his sermon. Sodano's power is still felt in the corridors of the Apostolic Palace: his appointees still populating the corrupt Secretariat of State. The ultimate real test of where this new Papacy will be headed is: who will become Stato? Will Pope Francis be able to undertake a massive firing at the Secretariat? Will Pope Francis issue a new Apostolic Constitution restructuring Holy See governance? 

Update: Chiesa, in an interesting 2002 article on the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, documents that Cardinal Bergoglio was the one man that Cardinal Sodano did not want chosen from Latin America as Supreme Pontiff. We may be in for interesting times ahead...

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