Wikileaks reveals Ratzinger lacked sufficient support

The day before Cardinal Joseph Ratziner was elected pope, the US embassy at the Vatican said he appeared to lack sufficient support.

The statement was made in an unclassified diplomatic cable, and is one of many documents made public in the latest release of Wikileaks documents.

“Despite a week of media speculation suggesting that German Cardinal and close John Paul II collaborator Joseph Ratzinger was moving close to a majority of votes, it appears that he lacks enough support to achieve the required two-thirds, given strong opposition from factions that see Ratzinger as too rigid and jealous of Rome’s prerogatives,” the cable stated.

“Some of these forces appear to be uniting around retired Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, as a standard-bearer for the initial votes that will test the strength of the differing groups, though he is not expected to be a viable candidate.”

“Based on these initial showings, the cardinals in subsequent votes are expected to shift to other candidates who reflect the Ratzinger or Martini views, but who offer better hope of garnering support from other groups. Italian Cardinals Ruini or Scola, and Argentinian Cardinal Bergolio would be suitable to the Ratzinger camp, while Milan’s Archbishop Cardinal Tettamanzi or Brazilian Cardinal Hummes could pull the support of the anti-Ratzinger groups,” the cable stated.

Warning that the race to the papacy was very difficult to pick, the US embassy cable seemed to favour the prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos.

Wikileaks has also been criticised by a retired Filipino bishop.

A retired prelate yesterday warned the public not to take information from Wikileaks, a website that publishes classified data, as absolute truth.

Wikileaks earlier revealed that the Holy See pressured the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to remain neutral in the controversy surrounding alleged fraud during the 2005 national elections.

“I can say for certainty because I was there all along. The Vatican was not even mentioned. This is the first time I heard about it,” Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former head of the bishops’ conference.

“One should also be perceptive [when] reading it,” he said.

Cruz said “WikiLeaks has a lot of wonderful things but you don’t take it hook, line and sinker.”


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