Vatican: “confidential” Documents and That Non-existent Conspiracy

By Andrea Tornielli
Vatican Insider
February 10, 2012

Inside the Vatican

Not a day goes by now without some sort of confidential note fromt he Vatican being leaked. What Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano publishes today is a document sent to the Pope on 30 December. It is a "confidential" note that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, former Prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy, received from a friend and concerns the possibility of a "criminal conspiracy" to eliminatethe Pope. The alleged "source" cited in the text, is Cardinal Paolo Romeo, Archbishop of Palermo, a former nuncio in Italy, who, during a trip to Beijing in November 2011, had spoken with some Chinese interlocutors of the possibility that Benedict XVI will die within a year and the possibility that his successor will be the Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice and a few months now, the new Archbishop of Milan.

It should be said firstly that the note published by the newspaper is authentic. It was actually received by the Secretary of State, where after a first reading and a few laughs, it was not given the least weight, even if it was sent to the Pope.

Reading the text of the document, it is also understandable that Cardinal Romeo did not in fact talk about a conspiracy to eliminate the Pope. Instead he just said that the Pope could die within twelve months. It was his Chinese interlocutors who, from his words, deduced that there was a conspiracy. But what makes the contents of that note actually ludicrous are other statements: the Archbishop of Palermo claimed to be "the Pope's representative designated to deal with future issues between China and the Vatican." Moreover, the Sicilian cardinal "surprised" his Chinese interlocutors byinforming them that he - Romeo - together with the Holy Father - Pope "Benedict XVI – and Cardinal Scola formed a troika. For the most important issues, therefore, the Holy Father would consult with him - Romeo - and with Scola."

In another passage from the document, after reporting the alleged story about the "conflicting relationship" between the Pope and his Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, reads: "The Holy Father is secretly planning his succession and had already chosen Cardinal Scola as suitable candidate, because closer to his personality. Slowly but surely he is preparing and training him to cover the office of Pope." In light of this presumed and objectively inconclusive "information" (Romeo, the Pope’s confidant for all major issues, Ratzinger who is working to prepare his succession), the part on the alleged conspiracy should also be taken for what it really is, which reads: "Self-confident, as though he knew precisely, Cardinal Romeo announced that the Holy Father would have only a further twelve months to live. During his talks in China he prophesied the death of Pope Benedict XVI ... The Cardinal’sstatements were presented by a person who was most likely so securely and firmly informed of a serious criminal conspiracy, that his interlocutors in China thought with horror, that an attack was planned against the Holy Father."

One might ask why, if indeed the Archbishop of Palermo is aware of "criminal conspiracy" and is thus free to talk about it left and right, even with his Chinese counterparts, he has not spoken first with Benedict XVI, since this is his assiduous practice as a member of the exclusive troika, instead of having the news arrive through the same interlocutors in Beijing who then confided the conspiracy to someone else, until the news reached German friend of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos.

The only real news is that a note - authentic, albeit so obviously incoherent - sent by a cardinal to the Pope and which passed through the Secretary of State a little over a month ago, is available to the media. Sign that the publication of Monsignor Vigano’s letters to the Pope and Cardinal Bertone, as well as notes and "memoranda" on the IOR and other documents which were discussed in these days, is part of a strategy, set in a clear struggle inside the Vatican, the outcome of which is still uncertain and however devastating. A fight in the background of which is not only the succession to Cardinal Bertone, but also the conclave.

Meanwhile, Paolo Romeo, Cardinal and Archbishop of Palermo, claims that all accusations made against him “lack any basis” and “seem surreal to the extent that they should not be taken into any consideration.” The Archdiocese’s newsroom explained that in mid November, Romeo had in fact gone on a five-day private trip to the People’s Republic of China. “In line with standard procedures, the relevant offices in the Holy See were informed of this short trip which only involved a visit to Beijing.” The Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola made no comment on the matter.








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