Friday, September 23, 2005

The Cardinals Vote and the Holy Spirit Chooses

Report has it that Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio was in the running for the papal election, second to German Cardinal Ratzinger. This is an interesting bit of information but more interesting is how we can finally see the inner workings of the Holy Spirit that one can surely conclude that He chooses who will be Pope.

Let us look at the two cardinals' reactions:

1. Both didn't want to become Pope
2. Both of them prayed to God "Don't do this to me"
3. Cardinal Bergoglio's reaction led to a shifting of support by the other cardinals
4. Cardinal Ratzinger's reaction led to a persuasion of acceptance

Cardinal Bergoglio

In a diary recently revealing some of the dynamics of the conclave leading up to the final outcome, it said that Cardinal Bergoglio "dreaded the prospect of becoming pope".

The diary quoted one cardinal saying, "I watch him (Bergoglio) as he goes to cast his ballot at the altar of the Sistine Chapel. He has his gaze fixed on the image of Jesus, judging souls at the end of time. His face, suffering, as if pleading: 'God don't do this to me'," it said.

The diary said that Colombian Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo -- prominent among Latin American cardinals -- took advantage of a break after the third vote to persuade Bergoglio's supporters to throw their support behind Ratzinger.

Cardinal Ratzinger

In his first audience with German pilgrims, Pope Benedict recounted his feelings during the conclave.

"As the trend in the ballots slowly made me realize that -- in a manner of speaking, the guillotine would fall on me -- I started to feel quite dizzy," he said.

"I thought that I had done my life's work and could now hope to live out my days in peace," he said. "I told the Lord with deep conviction, 'Don't do this to me. You have younger, better candidates with more elan and strength.' "

He told the group: "Evidently, on this occasion He didn't listen to me."

Cardinal Ratzinger could have told the 114 other cardinals that he didn't want to become pope but Benedict suggested he was dissuaded from dropping out by a fellow cardinal who slipped him a note reminding him of a biblical story about Jesus and Peter. In the story, which Ratzinger used as the basis for his sermon at the funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II, Jesus tells Peter to follow him even to places he might not want to go. "Then I had no choice, and I said yes," he told the pilgrims.

This is the reason why speculations during papal election, although a natural human reaction, is a waste of time. Not even journalist John Allen in this article listed Cardinal Ratzinger as "possible papal material".

This is not to say that one cardinal is better than the other but that a Pope is chosen according to the Will of God.

BTW, hat tip to Amy.


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