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Pope Francis says he was ‘used’ in bid to halt election of Pope Benedict

April 01, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: In a new book-length interview due for publication this week, Pope Francis says that he was “used” by other prelates who wanted to prevent the election of Pope Benedict XVI in the conclave of 2005.

The Pope says that opponents of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger put forward his name as an alternative at the 2005 conclave. He says that his supporters might have blocked the election of Pope Benedict, until he told them not to “joke with my candidacy.”

In the new book—The Successor, consisting of a long interview with Spanish journalist Javier Martinez-Brocal—Pope Francis says that he himself regarded Cardinal Ratzinger as “the only one who could be Pope at that time.” He says the cardinals wre looking for “a transitional Pope” after the long reign of Pope John Paul II.

In The Successor, the Pontiff reflects on the situation in which the Pope-emeritus was his neighbor at the Vatican. The book is scheduled for publication on April 3. Excerpts were published on March 31 in the Spanish daily ABC.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 02, 2024 7:56 AM ET USA

    Sounds like admission to a violation of Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis: "81. Cardinal electors shall abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done (...) such a commitment shall be null and void and no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition."