The Secretary of State of the Vatican today issued a strong statement that denounces as “deplorable” what it claims are attempts to sway “public opinion” in an effort to influence the Cardinals’ vote for the new Pope to replace with “political or worldly logic.” Pope Benedict XVI‘s resignation is effective at the end of this month. The Vatican’s College of Cardinals is expected to meet to choose a new pope early next month.
The statement also denounces what it claims are attempts to interrupt the Cardinals’ ability “to freely express their choice,” and claims “there is a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable, or even completely false news stories.”
“The freedom of the College of Cardinals, which, by law, is responsible for providing for the election of the Roman Pontiff, has always been strongly defended by the Holy See as the guarantee of a choice based solely on deliberations directed toward the good of the Church,” the Secretary’s statement notes:
If in the past the so-called powers, i.e., States, sought to influence the election of the Pope, today there is an attempt to do this through public opinion, which is often based on judgements that do not capture the typically spiritual aspect of this moment that the Church is living.
It is deplorable that, as we draw closer to the moment that the Conclave will begin and the Cardinal electors will be held—in conscience and before God—to freely express their choice, there is a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable, or even completely false news stories that cause serious damage to persons and institutions.
Now as never before, Catholics are focusing on what is essential: praying for Pope Benedict, praying that the Holy Spirit might enlighten the College of Cardinals, and praying for the future Pope, confident that the future of the barque of Peter is in God’s hands.
The Roman Catholic church has absolutely no issue spending untold millions of dollars across innumerable platforms to influence elections, including anti-gay ballot measures, at the local, state, and national level — and yet has the gall to tell the entire world to not voice their personal opinion and to not reveal anti-gay and other abominable positions and statements of the “papable” — those Cardinals capable of being elected pope.
The Vatican also published the Secretary’s statement on its official website in Italian.
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