“their absolute aim is to get Ratzinger out of the race”

I direct the readership’s attention to an interview (HERE) that Ed Pentin (of The Rigging of a Synod fame) has a fascinating interview with journalist Paul Badde who was in the right place at the right time (wrong place and time?) to learn things about Card. Danneels and the mafia that tried to rig the conclaves of 2005 and 2013.



What exactly did you hear?

Well, I’ve been told that, on April 5 — only three days after Karol Wojtyla’s death! — a group of cardinals had gathered secretly to prevent the election of Joseph Ratzinger, the right hand of the Polish Pope for decades.

Who was involved?

I’ve seen a list naming the cardinals: Silvestrini, Danneels, Murphy O’Connor, Martini, Lehmann, Kasper and Audrys Juozas Ba?kis of Lithuania, and I had heard that “their absolute aim is to get Ratzinger out of the race”; and that they met at Villa Nazareth.

What was Cardinal Meisner’s reaction to this news?

He was upset, telling me that a conspiracy like this one was “absolutely against the explicit rules” which John Paul II himself had reshaped in his apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, of Feb. 22, 1996.


Read the rest HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pmullane says:

    Its quite an incredible read. I find it hard to contrast the treatment of Cdl Danieels and Bishop Finn without coming over a bit nauseous.

    Its now clearly time for orthodox bishops and (especially) Cardinals to gather together and unite behind one another for the sake of the faithful. They can no longer hide behind pope and one or two bishops (such as Cardinal Burke or Pell or Arinze) say the hard things while they go along with the flow. If the local head of the bishops conference, or the local red hat, or the Pope himself doesnt like it, then they have to carry the cross that this will bring. Morover, Orthodox bishops and (More importantly) Cardinals need to come together to discuss tactics. On their shoulders is falling the burden of defending the church. Im not talking about setting up an Orthodox St Gallen, but they cannot afford another conclave to be manipulated by a rouge group. They need also to beef themselves up to provide a robust bulwarlk against those dropping poison in the ear of the Holy Father, and they need to have a plan to deal with any other ‘surprises’ that he may throw them.

  2. robtbrown says:

    Anyone who knows anything about Cardinals Danneels, Murphy O’Connor, Kasper, Lehman, and Martini would not be surprised about this news.

    Silvestrini might have opposed the election of BXVI, but he never was able to vote at a conclave.

  3. Reading this…only reinforced my intention to attend First Friday evening Mass and Exposition and offer it up for Papa Benedict…whose heart, I’m sure, was weighted down by the forces arrayed against him.

    While true he can not say anything…his presence is still a testament to good in the face of all that campaigned against him.

  4. Geoffrey says:

    Thinking uncharitable thoughts…

  5. the little brother says:

    & on their shoulders is falling the burden of the request of Our Lady @ Fatima to Consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.

  6. Gerard Plourde says:

    “Their absolute aim is to get Ratzinger out of the race.”

    They were so successful that instead he became Benedict XVI.

    Man proposes, God disposes. You’d think we’d know by now that His Will cannot be thwarted.

  7. CatholicMD says:

    As soon as I heard the name Bergoglio announced from loggia I texted a good priest friend that the enemies of Ratzinger had won. I never bought the line that Cdl. Bergoglio was “used” by the liberals in 2005 (cf Weigel in God’s Choice) just as I don’t buy the line from Austin Ivereigh (The Great Reformer) that then Cdl. Bergoglio was a participant in the St. Gallen mafia but somehow not sympathetic to its causes. You lie down with dogs you get fleas. It is obvious that the Holy Father’s sympathies belong to the Left. I’ll grant that he may not agree with Kasper, el al completely but he definitely is closer to them than with Burke, Chaput, Sarah, Pell, Piacenza, Bagnasco or any other orthodox Catholic that believes in the law of non-contradiction regarding Magisterial teaching.

  8. Paulo says:

    As Mr. Spock would say: “Fascinating!”

    The key sentence on the interview is “since it will be Pope Francis alone who is going to decide which direction the Church is heading — no matter what the synod has declared. His decision will be remembered.” It is very hard to follow the breadcrumb trail that is out in the open and not formulate some very pessimistic hypothesis. However, I will take Gerard’s advice from a comment on a previous post, and, “as Fr. Z counsels”, pray not only for the Pope and the whole Church, but that I may learn to accept God’s will and trust that the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

  9. gatormom says:

    Hey, nothin for nothin Father but Ann Barnhardt did a piece quite some time ago about this St. Gallen mafia and how it also broke the rules Pope John Paul II put in place. And I read right here on your site that the Pope doesn’t have any rules. So, what is the point of this story?

  10. TWF says:

    Of course the Holy Father personally invited the ancient Cardinal Danneels to the Synod, while others were told they were too old to participate. For the life of me I don’t understand why the Holy Father seems to hold +Danneels in such high regard. While Francis occasionally makes me uncomfortable, I can’t and won’t believe he is as liberal as the likes of +Danneels. For me, 99.9% of what the Holy Father says is Catholic and inspiring…it’s that 0.1% of his public comments that make me stop and scratch my head…

  11. FrAnt says:

    The Hippies have come of age in government and in the Church. Just like the LCWR these bishops will die off in the next decade or two only to be replaced by what they hate about the church. We can thank God for the short and powerful papacy of Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict will some day be heralded as the light bearer in the darkness of the post-Vatican II Church.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    We always have an ongoing spiritual battle for the church.
    We have just as real a temporal battle for the church, with evildoers in the power seats.

  13. Peter in Canberra says:

    ‘whited sepulchres’

  14. LarryW2LJ says:

    Why do I feel that Jesus would be disgusted with all this? Probably, because He would. I would NOT like to be the fly on the wall when some of these men eventually meet Him. It ain’t going to be pretty.

  15. Tominellay says:

    Here are some outside-the-box musings –
    My observation is that Pope JPII’s changes to the rules for electing a Pontiff had the effect of making Martini’s election improbable/impossible. And having been elected to the papacy, BXVI changed those rules back to exactly what they had been previously. Then once Martini was “safely” deceased, BXVI himself stepped aside.

  16. gatormom says:

    This idea that we should just wait for the bad men to die off is pusillanimous. Whoever says this should be embarrassed. Good grief, if you believe that you shouldn’t say it out loud.

  17. iamlucky13 says:

    From the Register’s article:

    “The Register contacted Cardinal Danneels Nov. 3 to see if he would like to respond to the concerns raised about his actions, but he declined the request.”

    I try to be careful not to draw conclusions when I see claims that don’t include any concrete evidence and aren’t corroborated by other sources. However, it seems Cardinal Danneels was given an opportunity to respond and does not care to either deny what Mr. Badde reports was said, nor correct the context or interpretation of it.

    “Note that he recently referred to his group as the “mafia.” I didn’t refer to them that way in 2005. He used that term, and he was proud of it.”

    Choosing that term to describe one’s own group is down right puzzling, given that Pope Francis took the very public step of excommunicating the members of the Italian mafia. This is like a group of US Congressmen calling themselves Al Qaida. It’s a deliberately antagonistic description, and I’m at a loss what sort interpretation or response it was intended to evoke.

    Moving on…

    ” They can no longer hide behind pope and one or two bishops (such as Cardinal Burke or Pell or Arinze) say the hard things while they go along with the flow. “

    How true this is. If only a few bishops speak up forcefully about movement’s like Cardinal Kasper’s proposal, they can be easily portrayed as a conservative extremist fringe and dismissed. If, on the other hand, the majority of the bishops individually responded by condemning dismissive interpretations of the very explicit words of Christ and explaining the error of separating doctrine from pastoral practice or separating just intent to accept mercy from God’s offering of mercy, the few individuals like Cardinal Kasper will become painfully for conspicuous in their dissent and not be emboldened to make such radical proposals supported only by distorted notion of mercy whereby the penitent has no actual obligation to repent.

    The secular world will still attack the individual bishops, but they will at least have the support of each other.

  18. thomas tucker says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand, and likely never will unless someone in the knos can explain it to me: how is it that men with heterodox views get appointed as bishops and, even more, as cardinals in the first place? If you were Pope, wouldn’t you look very closely at the men you were selecting?

  19. TNCath says:

    Well, even though they didn’t triumph in 2005, they won in the end. We are living in the worst of times as far as the Church is concerned. She (the Church) is being undermined from within and will continue to be undermined, I’m afraid, until another pope comes along, assuming there will be enough cardinal-electors to elect someone who shares the mindset of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. I’m not holding my breath, though.

  20. Gratias says:

    I pray for the Pope Emeritus’ health almost daily. I also pray for his intercession for my prayers as I consider him a living Saint. It was a blessing to have his reign. All B16 teachings are in writing so they will be with the Church forever. I recommend his books compiling his Wednesday public audiences.

    With Pope Francisco what we got is Global Warming and air conditioning into the Magisterium of the Church. This pope represents the apogee of Vatican Council II. Hard times are ahead of the Church. I am sure that with Daneels my Roger Cardinal Mahony was also on the winning team. I did not know Jesuit Cardinal Martini but it seems that we dodged a bullet with that one for he was very intelligent.

  21. Phil_NL says:

    While several of the cardinals mentioned would, in certain contexts, qualify as “the usual suspects” – having produced a lot of smoke over the decades, so much that there presumably have to be at least some fires, they’re also on their last legs.

    None of them mentioned is less than 78. Sure, a cardinal can have some influence past 80, but not in a conclave, and only in so far the Pope allows in other areas. I think it is safe to assume they already have done their worst. Perhaps some fall-out is only to materialize in the coming years, but time for new mayhem is very short indeed.

    So, let me emphasize again: rather than focussing on these usual suspects, it would be much more interesting to see who they recruited to carry on their work. Who will take over the torches of these cardinals? That’s the really freightening part, if it exists.

  22. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear TNCath,

    We have the assurance of Our Lord that the Church will survive. She is always threatened, due to the effects of Original Sin. As for us as individuals, we must pray that our faith is increased, so that we are not lead into temptation. We are also called to pray for those in authority in the Church so that they be stengthened in faith and steadfastness.

  23. eymard says:

    pmullane said:

    “they cannot afford another conclave to be manipulated by a rouge group”

    “Rouge” group has to be one of the funniest, most ominous Freudian slips in the history of the English language.

  24. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear thomas tucker,

    You wrote:

    “Here’s what I don’t understand, and likely never will unless someone in the knos can explain it to me: how is it that men with heterodox views get appointed as bishops and, even more, as cardinals in the first place?”

    Here you go. Hope it helps.


    The Chicken

  25. I just read James Hitchcock’s article referenced by The Chicken. Sad and discouraging, it nevertheless does seem to describe the Church today to a “T.” Traditionalists need to hammer their way back into the mainstream Church somehow instead of politely ceding everything to the heterodox. I certainly don’t claim that this is easy, but orthodoxy needs to become part of the mainstream again, not just an underground subculture. The bad guys have chased us out of the Church and they won’t be content with stopping there; next is to be chased out of the world.

Comments are closed.