So No Change


Based on some Italian media reporting, the Vancouver Sun is lauding Canadian Cardinal Marc Quellet as the pope-maker, arguing he asked his supporters to switch their votes to Cardinal Bergoglio for the fifth ballot, giving the Argentinian the victory and giving the World Pope Francis.

But the real pope-makers – the cardinals who brokered the deal making and picked and unpicked alliances – were Italians: Giovanni Battista Re, Vatican secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone, and Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.

My sources at the Vatican tell me that they were the ones who quickly blocked Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, persuading many of the Italian cardinals not to be back him.

And behind those three key pope-makers was the real eminence: yet another Italian, former Vatican representative at the UN for fifteen years — Raffaele Martino, a cardinal but not an elector at this conclave. He opposed Ratzinger at the 2005 conclave, backing Bergoglio at that election, and was the one who persuaded the Canadian to back the Argentinian as well.

What is the significance of all of this? Bergoglio owes his election to the men who have made the Curia what it is today: a bureaucracy that is focused on protecting its control of the Church and the ones most responsible for the scandals swirling around the Vatican.