Was this the key to Bergoglio’s election as pope?

A Cuban cardinal has shared Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s intervention during the pre-conclave General Congregation meetings:

Cuba’s Catholic primate, Jaime Ortega, made public in Havana a manuscript with remarks made by Jorge Bergoglio about the mission of the church in a session before the conclave that elected him pope.

The manuscript was presented “exclusively” to Cardinal Ortega by Bergoglio before the Argentine prelate became Pope Francis I, and the thinking it contains “could have guided the selection of the cardinals” on March 13, Cuban Catholic Church magazine Palabra Nueva said Tuesday.

The Havana archbishop asked Bergoglio for a copy of his speech at the general gathering of cardinals prior to the conclave to preserve it “since it coincides” with his own thinking about the Church.

Bergoglio initially told Ortega that he did not have a copy of his remarks but the next day he delivered to the Cuban cardinal his own handwritten text and gave him the OK to distribute it.

Palabra Nueva says that in a later meeting in The Vatican between the Cuban cardinal and Pope Francis I, the pontiff “verified his authorization for the dissemination of the text.”

The manuscript, which can be read on Palabra Nueva’s Web site, says that preaching the Gospel “is the Church’s raison d’être.”

The Vatican’s news site has more:

Cardinal Ortega had been so impressed with the speech he asked the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio for a copy of the intervention.Cardinal Ortega received permission from Pope Francis to share the information.

Here is an unofficial translation of the text

Evangelizing implies Apostolic Zeal

1. – Evangelizing pre-supposes a desire in the Church to come out of herself. The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents, and of all misery.

2. – When the Church does not come out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then gets sick. (cf. The deformed woman of the Gospel). The evils that, over time, happen in ecclesial institutions have their root in self-referentiality and a kind of theological narcissism. In Revelation, Jesus says that he is at the door and knocks. Obviously, the text refers to his knocking from the outside in order to enter but I think about the times in which Jesus knocks from within so that we will let him come out. The self-referential Church keeps Jesus Christ within herself and does not let him out.

3. – When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light; she ceases to be the mysterium lunae and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness (which according to De Lubac, is the worst evil that can befall the Church). It lives to give glory only to one another.
Put simply, there are two images of the Church: Church which evangelizes and comes out of herself, the Dei Verbum religiose audiens et fidente proclamans; and the worldly Church, living within herself, of herself, for herself. This should shed light on the possible changes and reforms which must be done for the salvation of souls.

4. – Thinking of the next Pope: He must be a man who, from the contemplation and adoration of Jesus Christ, helps the Church to go out to the existential peripheries, that helps her to be the fruitful mother, who gains life from “the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.”

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  2. [...] exactly who Peter is — the man around whom the Office was created, and who has been, perhaps, too encumbered by some of its walls. Before he ever had a mitre or a staff, he walked among the crowds and took counsel with other [...]


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