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How did cardinals choose Pope Francis? First accounts leak from conclave

March 18, 2013

According to the first accounts to emerge about the March 2013 papal conclave, the cardinals chose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio after it became clear that other candidates--notably including the perceived favorite, Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan--did not command enough support to win election.

The early accounts, based on reports from unnamed cardinals, indicate that Cardinal Bergoglio received a surprising show of support on the cardinals' first ballot, taken on the opening day of the conclave. When other candidates failed to demonstrate solid support, the cardinals swung toward the Argentine prelate, the reports say.

All reports from the conclave are evidently based on disclosures by participants who have violated their oath to preserve the secrecy of the deliberations.


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Mar. 19, 2013 11:24 PM ET USA

    Very disheartening to hear that the Cardinals intended to swear an oath then break it. We deserve to know who these criminals are.

  • Posted by: ColmCille - Mar. 19, 2013 8:26 PM ET USA

    There has never been a time, nor will there be, when the Church on earth has not had some degree of corruption within its ranks, for the Church Militant is made up of sinners, with the tares growing among the wheat. If you want to see the Church in its pure state, you will have to wait until you (we hope and pray) enter the Church Triumphant in heaven. And remember, all it takes is one cardinal; 114 out of 115 may have been faithful.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 19, 2013 2:30 PM ET USA

    Good point, Pete. Can anyone with so little character as to break an oath of silence be trusted to tell the truth in breaking it?

  • Posted by: Pete - Mar. 19, 2013 1:22 PM ET USA

    This story speaks volumes about the integrity and character of the "Princes" of the Church. Just a few days ago we saw the spectacular broadcast of EACH Cardinal-elector stepping up to the Bible in the Sistine Chapel, placing his hand on that Bible, and SWEARING to remain silent about the proceedings of the Conclave. I presume that includes talking with other non-elector Cardinals not present. And we wonder why OUR Church is in so much trouble? We need a thorough "house-cleaning"!!!