sábado, 26 de septiembre de 2015

The “St. Gallen club” of reformist prelates was not a lobby group that prepared for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be elected Pope

Cardinal Danneels' Biographers Retract Comments on St. Gallen Group

by Edward Pentin (*)

But the cardinal's assertion that the secretive "mafia-like" group existed and opposed Joseph Ratzinger still stands

The authors of a new authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, have issued a correction to earlier comments quoted in a Belgian newspaper and which I reported here.

Karim Schelkens and Jürgen Mettepenningen, authors of Godfried Danneels Biographie, have stressed that the “St. Gallen club” of reformist prelates was not a lobby group that prepared for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be elected Pope.

They say their quote in the original article in “Le Vif”, which had said “the election of Bergoglio was prepared in St. Gallen” by Cardinal Danneels and others, was a mistake made "after their approval and correction" of the quote.

Now they have stated that the “election of Bergoglio corresponded with the aims of St. Gallen, on that there is no doubt. And the outline of its program was that of Danneels and his confreres who had been discussing it for ten years.”

They stressed that, as this goal was not met in the 2005 conclave, and the St. Gallen club no longer convened after 2006, their original quote gave the false impression that it was a lobby group rather than an informal one. Cardinal Danneels this week referred to it as a kind of "mafia" club.

Despite this, according to the new biography, after 2003 the St. Gallen group became of "strategic importance" with regards the 2005 conclave.

The authors stress in the book that with its array of members including Cardinals José da Cruz Policarpo, then Patriarch of Lisbon, as well as Cardinals Martini, Danneels, Murphy-O'Connor, Silvestrini, Husar, Kasper and Lehmann, members of the St. Gallen group felt it could have “significant impact” if each of them used their network of contacts.

The authors further write that in the days leading up to the 2005 conclave, cardinals of the group sent a postcard to Bishop Ivo Fürer, founder of the group, with the message: "We are here in the spirit of Sankt Gallen."*

Cardinal Danneels’ two biographers do not mention in the book lobbying by ex-members of the group during the 2013 conclave.

However, in The Great Reformer, Austen Ivereigh writes that members of the disbanded group and others, whom he calls “Team Bergoglio”, seized the initiative in the days leading up to the 2013 conclave to “promote their man.” They first confirmed with Cardinal Bergoglio that he was willing to become Pope, and then canvassed on his behalf.

So although the secretive club hadn’t formally met since 2006, it’s safe to say that it helped pave the way for promoting Cardinal Bergoglio at the conclave seven years later.

In their chapter on St. Gallen, the authors of Cardinal Danneels’ authorized biography say the group, which was founded in 1995, met annually to discuss various themes including 'the situation of the Church', 'primacy of the Pope', 'collegiality', and 'John Paul II's succession’.

Its members also discussed centralism in the Church, the function of bishops’ conferences, development of the priesthood, sexual morality, the appointment of bishops, and other such issues, the authors write.


(*) Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario