Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

American cardinals 'working' for non-european pope

English
© ANSA

(By Nina Fabrizio)
Vatican City, March 6 - The conflicting approach to
communications which has emerged over the past few days among
the cardinals gathered in Rome ahead of the conclave is largely
a result of the activity by North American ''electors'', who are
looking for a non-European candidate to take the papacy.
In these days of pre-conclave 'general congregations', the
American cardinals are moving decisively in this direction,
according to informed sources.
The American cardinals are working on finding common ground
with the Latin Americans and looking for a way to involve the
Africans too.
In secret meetings taking place outside the official
congregation sessions, North American and Brazilian cardinals
are talking, with the aim of ''sealing'' an alliance to find a
candidate to offer in opposition to a possible candidate
presented by a European front, molded around the Curia, the
Vatican's Rome-based central administration.
The College of Cardinal's diktat its members to hold a
media silence, which led to the ending of the daily briefings by
the American cardinals, is also - according to people in the
know - the result of a net divide that has formed among
cardinals.
The Americans are determined to stop Benedict XVI's
successor being an Italian or European, believing that Europe is
no longer able to produce a pope focused on renovation and
modernity.
The origin of this attitude has much to do with resentment
felt towards the Curia's management of recent years and
bitterness towards matters that the Americans consider
''unclear''.
The Americans repeatedly, during the daily press briefings,
declared their desire to know the contents of the ''poisonous''
dossiers of the VatiLeaks case.
They do not seem totally convinced that Benedict resigned
purely for age and health reasons.
It's not a coincidence that in the United States, the
reference point for the local bishops conference is the nuncio
Monsignor Carlo Maria Vigano', someone who knows the Vatican's
inside stories and ended up as the heart of the Vatileaks
scandal - better than most.
It seems that for his role in trying to put an end to a
series of opaque practices, he was denied the much sought-after
presidency of the Vatican Governorate and was ''promoted'' with
a job that sent him away as an ambassador to the U.S.
Despite their maneuvering, the Americans have not yet
produced a candidate name, and for this reason they are among
those calling for more time in the selection process.
The ideal for this group, which has 11 votes, is to find a
candidate from the Americas, but not necessarily one from the
United States.
They know all too well that a US candidate would not stand
much of a chance - the country's role as ''superpower'' works
against them.
An understanding could be found around a Latin American
candidate, as desired by the Latin Americans electors (who have
19 votes), who - on the other hand - have also expressed support
for the French-Canadian Marc Ouellet (Canada has three votes),
who has spent a long time in Colombia.
However, Ouellet's candidacy is a long shot because of his
brother's jailing in Canada in a child sex abuse case.
A possible alliance between North and South Americans could
see Africans (11 votes) come into play.
In this case, Ghana's Peter Turkson could play a key role.
While aiming for an African candidate, the Africans also appear
keen to support a non-European candidate.
If this scenario were to materialize, this front would
enter the Conclave with 44 votes, enough to put forth a strong
candidacy in the first round of voting.
Eight years ago Benedict was said to have received 46 votes
in the first round, enough to propel him towards election.
Meanwhile, on the other front, there are the cardinals who
would seem keener to accelerate the process, there is still no
convergence on a single candidate.
The most accredited European candidates in this
pre-Conclave period remain Angelo Scola, the archbishop of
Milan, and Peter Erdo, the archbishop of Budapest.
Then there is the group of Genoa-linked cardinals, led by
Tarcisio Bertone, Domenico Calcagno and Angelo Bagnasco, who are
said to support the candidacy of Mauro Piacenza, a candidate who
also appeals to the Opus Dei.
In recent days, the name of Francesco Coccopalmerio has
also been making the rounds.
Coccopalmiero is a respected jurist but his appeal, in
terms of votes, is still to be tested.
Finally, the candidate of Giovanni Battista Re, one of the
''grand electors'', appears to be, again, a Latin American, but
one with ties to the Curia - the Brazilian Odilo Pedro Scherer.
However Scherer, who served as an officer of the
Congregation of Cardinals when it was under the leadership of
Re, does not appear to appeal to the other South American
cardinals.

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