Rorate Caeli

Editorial note - "Religious correspondents", "Vaticanists": they really don't know much more about the Conclave than the rest of us

The 2005 Conclave is not exactly ancient history. In 2013, though, it has become a kind of non-debatable fact that Cardinal Ratzinger was obviously and the whole time the absolute favorite in the 2005 Conclave. Alas, maybe he always was among the electors, and we will never know how much his position in some outstanding events leading up to the Conclave (as writer of the 2005 Colosseum Via Crucis reflections, as Dean of the College of Cardinals and consequently main celebrant of the Funeral Mass of John Paul II and of the Missa pro eligendo Romano Pontifice immediately before the Conclave) led to a last-minute movement in his favor.

What we can say for sure was that the media, the same media filled with strange "papabile" suggestions today, and especially the Italian media, had no space whatsoever for Ratzinger as a credible papabile up to the day of the conclave. No wonder most of us, influenced by media reports, were (gladly) shocked when the Cardinal Protodeacon announced his name on April 19, 2005. It is true that, in hindsight, and considering the events above, historians can say, "there could have been no other outcome". That was not exactly how things were reported at the time. We will not let their mistakes (true or made on purpose) be forgotten.

Whom did extreme-"progressive" Rome correspondent for radical weekly NCR John Allen Jr. mentioned as the top papabili as soon as news of John Paul II's death appeared? Remember: this was not a rookie taken by surprise; the state of Pope Wojtyla's health had been no surprise for several months, so newsmakers such as Allen, who lived full-time in Rome at the time, had their lists ready. He included the following as his papabili:

Ennio Antonelli, 68, Italy; Francis Arinze, 72, Nigeria; Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 68, Argentina; Dario Castrillón Hoyos, 75, Colombia; Godfried Danneels, 71, Belgium; Julius Darmaatmadja, 70, Indonesia; Ivan Dias, 69, India; Claudio Hummes, 70, Brazil; Lubomyr Husar, 72, Ukraine; Walter Kasper, 72, Germany; Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, 68, Dominican Republic; Wilfrid Fox Napier, 64, South Africa; Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, 68, Cuba; Marc Ouellet, 60, Canada; Giovanni Battista Re, 71, Italy; Norberto Rivera Carrera, 62, Mexico; Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, 62, Honduras; Christoph Schönborn, 60, Austria; Angelo Scola, 63, Italy; Dionigi Tettamanzi, 71, Italy.

This was the "official" NCR list in the 2005 Conclave, posted soon after the death of Pope John Paul II: do you see one name missing there?... As we have often made clear here, Allen and "journalists" like him do not intend to report; their intention is always to try to influence events. Always. It is not for nothing Allen has remained faithful to NCR this whole time.

We can move a step higher in credibility and read another contemporary article by Sandro Magister. The 2005 Conclave was widely reported as an open conclave, and Magister also included a long list of plausible popes; he did include Ratzinger, but hesitatingly: "the indication of Ratzinger as the next pope is perhaps more symbolic than real."

What is amazing is to see fellow Catholics falling once again before the same media hype about certain papabili in this 2013 Conclave. Could the "Vaticanists" be right? Of course they could, especially when dozens of names are mentioned each time, but what one must remember is that the secular media and the "progressive Catholic" media (the same secular and progressive media that crucified dear Pope Ratzinger again and again during his entire pontificate and that now that he is gone pretend to "admire" him) are not to be trusted. Trust in prayers and penance only: auxilium nostrum in nomine Domini.

[This post was quoted in the official daily of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano, in its March 4-5, 2013, edition.]