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Vatican. Pope Francis – behind the scenes of the election of Benedict XVI: I was used

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At the 2005 conclave, I received 40 votes out of 115 in the Sistine Chapel. They were enough to block the candidacy of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – revealed Pope Francis in an interview that will be published in the book “The Successor”. As he said, “they used me, but they were already thinking about proposing another cardinal.”

Fragments of the interview with Pope Francis, which will be published in the book “The Successor” by the Spanish Vaticanist Javier Martinez-Brocal, devoted to the memories of Benedict XVI, were published on Sunday by the Spanish daily “Abc”.

– I'll tell you one thing. Cardinals swear not to reveal what happens at the conclave, but popes have a license to tell, Francis said. He told the story behind the scenes of the 2005 conclave after the death of John Paul II.

– What happened was that I received 40 votes out of 115 in the Sistine Chapel. They were enough to block the candidacy of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, because if they had continued to vote for me, he would not have been able to obtain two-thirds of the votes to be elected pope, said the current pope.

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Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and Benedict XVI (photo from October 2005)Grzegorz Gałązka/PAP

Francis on the backstage of the conclave. “They told me later that they didn't want a foreign pope”

When asked whether the cardinals could not have chosen him himself, Francis replied that “it was not the idea of ​​those who were behind the votes.” – The maneuver was to include my name, block Ratzinger's election, and then negotiate the name of another, third candidate – he said. – Then they told me that they didn't want a foreign pope – he said.

– They used me, but they were already thinking about proposing another cardinal. They still weren't able to agree on who it would be, but they were close to announcing the name, he said.

Francis noted that this took place during the second and third votes on the morning of April 19. – When I realized this, I said to the Latin American Cardinal, the Colombian Dario Castrillon: do not joke about my candidacy, because now I will say that I will not accept the election, leave me. And Benedict was elected, he added.

Pope Francis during Easter SundayPAP/EPA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI

“He met with a lot of resistance in the Vatican”

– Joseph Ratzinger was my candidate. He was the only one who could become pope at that time. After the revolution of John Paul II, who was a dynamic pope, very active, with initiatives and traveling, a pope was needed who would maintain a healthy balance, a pope of transformation, he said. He assured that he was very happy with the election of Benedict XVI.

– If someone like me, who causes so much trouble, was elected then, I wouldn't be able to do anything. Then it would not be possible, the pope said.

He expressed the opinion that it was not easy for Benedict XVI. – He met with a lot of resistance in the Vatican – he said.

Main photo source: Grzegorz Gałązka/PAP



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