Magazine article The Christian Century

Argentine Was Challenger to Benedict

Magazine article The Christian Century

Argentine Was Challenger to Benedict

Article excerpt

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina received enough votes during the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI to have blocked the pontiff's election, according to a detailed report published in Italy.

The report, published September 23 in the quarterly review Limes, draws from the diary of an anonymous cardinal who voted in the April conclave. In leaking his diary, the author appears to have compromised the oath of secrecy that all cardinals took upon entering the conclave.

According to the account, support for the Argentine peaked at the third ballot with 40 votes--the exact number of votes required to block then--cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's candidacy. On the same ballot, Ratzinger received 72 votes--five votes shy of the quorum. A total of 115 cardinals voted in the conclave.

Bergoglio, who emerged as a dark horse candidate weeks before the conclave, built momentum throughout the balloting, receiving ten votes to Ratzinger's 47 on the opening ballot, which was held on the evening of April 18. The following day he received 35 votes on the second ballot while Ratzinger garnered 65, the report said. …

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