Pope Benedict XVI was elected with 84 votes and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was second with 26 after four rounds of voting during April’s conclave, according to a cardinal’s unauthorized diary that was published Friday.
The anonymous diary appeared in the respected Italian political magazine Limes. The magazine said it obtained the diary from a “trustworthy” source it had known for years.
Benedict was elected April 19 after two days of voting — one of the shortest conclaves in a century. Cardinals entering the conclave are subject to a vow of secrecy, and the penalty for violating it is excommunication.
Limes said in an introduction to the diary that the secrecy vow was more to protect the integrity of the conclave itself and keep it free from outside influence. It said revealing its inner workings after the fact was “less serious.”
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, declined to comment.
47 votes in first count
In the first round of voting, Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, received 47 votes and Bergoglio, the Jesuit archbishop of Buenos Aires, received 10. Italian cardinals Carlo Maria Martini and Camillo Ruini had nine and six votes, respectively.
Ratzinger also led the second ballot with 65 votes, while Bergoglio received 35. In the third round of voting, Ratzinger got 72 votes and Bergoglio 40.
Ratzinger needed 77 votes in the final round to win the necessary two-thirds majority of the 115 voting cardinals. He got 84, Bergoglio got 26, and three other cardinals also registered one vote apiece in the last round: Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Italian Cardinal Giacomo Biffi and American Cardinal Bernard Law, according to the diary.
Despite cardinals’ vows of secrecy, accounts of the voting began to emerge in the hours and days following the conclave.
The diary is significant because it showed that Bergoglio, who had been mentioned as papabile, continued to be a contender throughout the voting. Previous accounts said Martini, the retired Milan archbishop favored by more liberal cardinals, had posed the greatest challenge to Ratzinger.