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 CNS Story:

CONCLAVE-COUNT Sep-23-2005 (850 words) xxxi

Article based on diary says German cardinal became pope with 84 votes

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- On the fourth ballot of the April 18-19 conclave to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger went from being five votes shy of election to having seven more than the 77 needed.

The count, along with a few details of the brief conclave leading to the election of Pope Benedict XVI, was published Sept. 23 in Limes, a respected Italian journal usually focused on geopolitics.

On each of the four ballots, the magazine said, the prelate receiving the second-highest number of votes was Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.

Limes said its information came from the diary of an anonymous cardinal who, while acknowledging he was violating his oath of secrecy, felt the results of the conclave votes should be part of the historic record.

The journal said it confirmed the diary's count with other cardinals.

In several cases, the diary author did not list the names of cardinals who got only one vote on a ballot, although because he said it was "curious," he did so when Cardinal Bernard F. Law, former archbishop of Boston, received one vote on the last ballot.

The cardinals began their solemn procession into the Sistine Chapel at 4:30 p.m. April 18. After taking their oaths, the doors were closed at 5:24 p.m. and Cardinal Ratzinger, dean of the college, asked the cardinals if they were prepared to vote or if they wanted to retire for the evening.

The majority voted to proceed with the election; "no cardinal wanted uselessly to prolong the conclave," the diarist wrote.

The cardinal said that on the first ballot, Cardinal Ratzinger received 47 votes; election in the early days of a conclave requires a candidate to receive two-thirds of the votes plus one. With 115 cardinals participating, 77 votes were needed.

The other cardinals who got more than one vote on the first ballot were Cardinal Bergoglio with 10 votes; retired Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan, 9; Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini, papal vicar of Rome, 6; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, 4; Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, 3; and Italian Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan, 2.

While many news outlets had reported that Cardinal Ratzinger seemed to have the greatest support going into the conclave, Limes said, "the real surprise on the first ballot" was the support for Cardinal Bergoglio.

The diary writer said the Argentine was supported by Cardinals "Karl Lehmann, president of the German episcopal conference, and Godfried Danneels, archbishop of Brussels, who led a significant squad of U.S. and Latin American cardinals," in addition to a couple of Vatican officials.

The cardinals ate their evening meal at 8:30 p.m., speaking across the tables in the dining hall, then meeting in groups of two or three in their rooms, said the diary writer. Portuguese Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, with his cigar, and other smoking cardinals were forced to imbibe outside on the patio.

The second vote began at 9:30 a.m. April 19 with Cardinal Ratzinger receiving 65 votes and Cardinal Bergoglio garnering 35. Cardinal Sodano again received four votes and Cardinal Tettamanzi kept his two, but Cardinals Martini and Ruini received none.

The third vote started at 11 a.m. and, with 40 votes for Cardinal Bergoglio, his supporters had enough of the 115 votes to block Cardinal Ratzinger from being elected.

Cardinal Ratzinger received 72 votes on the third ballot.

"The cardinal-electors were aware that this was the crucial moment of the conclave," Limes said.

The diarist said that even before leaving the Sistine Chapel for lunch "there were the first comments and contacts. There was great concern among the cardinals who hoped for the election of Cardinal Ratzinger."

On the fourth and final ballot, which began at 4:30 p.m., Cardinal Ratzinger received 84 votes and was elected pope. Cardinal Bergoglio had 26 votes, the diarist said.

Limes said it is not known why some of Cardinal Bergoglio's supporters switched their votes.

"Perhaps they simply thought it was inopportune to hope for a prolonged delay with the risk of a serious division without a real and convincing alternative to (Cardinal) Ratzinger," Limes said.

The diary writer said that when it was announced that Cardinal Ratzinger had more than the necessary votes, "there was a moment of silence, followed by a long, warm applause."

The cardinal's diary also said Cardinal Law received one vote on the last ballot as did retired Italian Cardinal Giacomo Biffi of Bologna and Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.

Limes said the diary began with the cardinal describing moving into his room at the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Marthae, the guesthouse where the cardinals were sequestered.

The cardinal said he set down his bags and tried to open the shutters because the room was completely dark, but the shutters would not budge. "They were sealed" and the telephones and television were disconnected to prevent contact with the outside world, the cardinal noted.


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