August 20, 2019
Latest News

The inside story on the Vatican conclave that elected Pope Francis

By Cristina Cabrejas

Rome, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Eyebrows were raised right from the very first vote in the Sistine Chapel when the archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, who had been favorite to become pope only gained 30 votes, much less than anticipated.

The second most-voted candidate, with 26 votes, was Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, on that afternoon in March 12, 2013.

How this, a surprising result for many, came about amid dinners, meetings and Vatican intrigues, is recounted with journalistic rigor and relying on impeccable sources from within the secret of the conclave by Irish columnist Gerard O'Connell in his book: "The Election of Pope Francis: An Inside Account of the Conclave That Changed History."

O'Connell reveals that until Mar. 9, when it was Bergoglio's turn to give his speech, “nobody had spoken of him.”

It was, “an unforgettable three-and-a-half-minute intervention in Spanish that catapulted him onto the radar screen of many electors,” O'Connell said.

The Rome correspondent of the magazine of the Society of Jesus, America Magazine, recounts in the form of a diary the inside story of this historic conclave with its secret dinners, "fake news" about Bergoglio’s health and the final altruistic yet decisive gesture by Cardinal Scola.

In his reconstruction of those frantic days, O'Connell details how Italy’s newspapers were convinced Scola had entered the Sistine Chapel with about 40 votes.

However, the veteran Vatican specialist explained that during the general congregations, the meetings of the entire College of Cardinals before the conclave, "an anti-Italian sentiment seemed to have begun to arise among some foreign cardinals who realized that almost all the actors involved in the Vatileaks scandal were Italian."

A question that had arisen in the previous meetings among the cardinals was: “Do we need another Italian? Do we need another theologian pope?” he wrote.

A secret dinner that Cardinal Attilio Nicora, who led the anti-Scola group, held at his home just before the conclave with 15 or more Latin American, European and Asian cardinals whom he persuaded to support Bergoglio was of vital importance for the election of the Argentine archbishop, he said.

Already inside the Sistine Chapel, in total isolation as O'Connell has been able to reconstruct, the result of the first vote of the conclave was 30 votes for Scola, Ratzinger's favorite: far from the 40 that many expected.

Bergoglio collected 26 cardinals and the third in the standings was the Canadian Marc Ouellet, followed by the American Sean Patrick O'Malley with 10 and the Brazilian Odilo Pedro Scherer with four.

One of the cardinals misspelled Bergoglio’s name and his ballot had to be canceled so the archbishop of Buenos Aires would have had 27 votes.

After the first night of meetings in the Santa Marta residence, the second ballot proved that Bergoglio overcame Scola with 45 votes.

At lunch in Santa Marta some cardinals who did not want the Jesuit to win began to spread rumors that the archbishop of Buenos Aires was missing a lung and that he was not in good health.

The book tells that even Spaniard Santos Abril y Castelló went directly to Bergoglio during that meal to clear up his doubts.

The author reveals that after the third vote, in which Bergoglio reached 56 compared to 41 in favor of the Italian cardinal, "Scola stayed behind with a group of Italian cardinals who were supporting him, including Bagnasco, Caffarra and Betori," and told them to vote for the Argentine cardinal.

“The archbishop of Milan saw the writing on the wall and looked as if he didn’t want to go on, but his Italian backers sought to convince him otherwise. He urged them to vote for Bergoglio," he said.

Early on Mar. 13, the 115 Cardinals returned to vote. The result was: Bergoglio, 45 votes; Scola, 38; Marc Ouellet, 24, and in the fourth election of the afternoon, the archbishop of Buenos Aires reached the 77 votes needed to be elected.

There was loud applause in the Sistine Chapel after which Bergoglio got up and went to hug Scola.

His good friend who was sitting next to him in the conclave, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, turned to him, embraced him, and told him not to forget the poor.


News history
Focus is on Macri's goals, Argentina's incoming finance minister says

Buenos Aires, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Incoming Argentine Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza said Monday that he could not discuss the details of his meeting with...

US gives China's Huawei another 90-day reprieve on sanctions

Washington, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies on Monday criticized the sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump administration as being...

Iran faces the scourge of fuel smuggling

By Artemis Razmipour

China urges Trump to keep his word, allow business with Huawei in US

Beijing, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Beijing on Monday urged Donald Trump to keep his word and allow companies in the United States to do business with Chinese tech...

Trump acknowledges US' interest in buying Greenland from Denmark

Washington DC, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday said that Greenland was strategically interesting for his country, although...

Japan's trade deficit widened by 9.8 percent in July

Tokyo, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- Japan had a trade deficit of 249.6 billion yen ($2.35 billion) in July, a 9.8-percent increase compared to the same month last...

Trump defends China policy, says US economy is world's best

Washington, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his strategy versus China, on whose goods Washington has imposed heavy tariffs as...

Anti-government rally in Hong Kong

By Steven Russolillo, Joanne Chiu and Eli Binder

Lacunza to be Argentina's new treasury minister as Dujovne quits

Buenos Aires, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Mauricio Macri said Sunday that Hernan Lacunza "is the right person" to replace former Finance Minister Nicolas...

Quito video art makes viewers reflect on migration, environment and memories

Quito, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- An unprecedented exhibition in the Ecuadorian capital is making viewers reflect on such concepts as migration, the environment and...

Delivery workers unite to protect themselves from Mexico City dangers

By Zoilo Carrillo

Woody Allen wraps up filming of new romantic comedy set in Spain

San Sebastian, Spain, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- American director Woody Allen on Friday completed shooting on his latest movie, a romantic comedy filmed in Spain...

UK government names Ataer Holdings preferred bidder for British Steel

By Oliver Griffin

Foreign tourism to Mexico up 7 pct. in 1st half of 2019

Mexico City, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Mexico in the first half of 2019 rose 7 percent relative to the same period of...

Iran: US attempt to stop release of seized tanker an act of attempted piracy

Tehran, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Iran on Thursday said the United States' unsuccessful attempt to prevent Gibraltar's authorities from releasing a seized Iranian...

Alibaba's sales jump 42%, beating expectations

By Stu Woo

Japanese economy starts feeling effects of diplomatic spat with South Korea

By Antonio Hermosin

Bogota has many advantages in attracting foreign investment

Bogota, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- In the past 10 years, Bogota has received some $20 billion in foreign investment via more than 1,100 projects that have created...

Wall Street plunges, Dow Jones down 3.05 pct.

New York, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- Wall Street closed Wednesday with heavy losses and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the benchmark indicator, dropped 3.05...

Panama Canal optimistic after China gets reprieve on US tariffs

Panama City, Aug 14 (efe-epa).-The Panama Canal on Wednesday applauded the United States government's decision to postpone new tariffs on a range of Chinese...

ECLAC: FDI in Latin America up last year for 1st time since 2012

Santiago, Aug 14 (efe-epa).-Foreign direct investment in Latin America rose 13.2 percent in 2018, ending a five-year spell of FDI contraction, the Economic...

Germany's economy contracts by 0.1 percent in Q2

Berlin, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- Germany's economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the country's statistics office said in a statement...

Hong Kong court bans protests from airport

Hong Kong, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- A Hong Kong court on Wednesday ordered demonstrators to cease their protests at the city's airport and to stop interfering...

CBS, Viacom to merge, creating ViacomCBS

New York, Aug 13 (efe-epa).- CBS and Viacom announced on Tuesday a merger agreement that will reunite the two companies, which previously merged but then...

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.