Pope reveals some details about his election


In a new conversation book, in which the figure of Pope Joannes Paulus II is central, says Pope Francis also some details about his papal election during the conclave in 2013. The first chapter of this book was published this week in the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana. The Pope confirms that a group of Latin American bishops had a large share in his Pope’s election.

In spite of all speculation, the impetus for the election of Jorge Bergoglio was not from Europe, but from a group of Latin American bishops.

Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who was the Archbishop of Havana until 2016, asked me for a copy of my speech during the preconclave. That speech (in which the pope had emphasized the need for reform) had made a strong impression on many cardinals. When Francis gave the summary of the speech, the Cuban cardinal thanked him with the words. Beautiful. Now I also have a reminder of the Pope. Francis then asked not to make fun of him. But shortly thereafter, the pope, who was then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was asked if he had already prepared a text for a speech after his election from the balcony on St. Peter’s Square.

Then a group of European cardinals that I did not know asked me at lunch to sit down with them for a meal. They asked me many questions about the Church and Latin America. But I only realized at the next round of voting how great the danger was that I would be elected Pope. During that voting round, he was effectively elected pope. Then I prayed the rosary. I experienced great peace when the result was announced. I have continued to experience that peace until today.

With regard to pope Joannes Paulus II, At the center of the book, Pope Francis does not hide his admiration for the Pole, who was chaplain at the university, professor of philosophy, skier, sportsman and who prayed a lot. The Argentinian pope says that he first met with Joannes Paul II in 1987, when he was in Germany writing a dissertation on Romano Guardini. Already from our first meeting I had a great sympathy for him. Franciscus still confides that he was experiencing a difficult period at the time and had drawn much courage and hope from that encounter. In 1992, the papal nuncio then called me to him in the city of Cordoba and told me just before saying good-bye that I would become auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and that the Jesuit superior had already agreed. Even then I experienced a great peace.

Source: Famiglia Cristiana / KNA / Katholisch.de


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