On March 3, 2013, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor—an alumnus of the St. Gallen mafia—met with then-Cardinal Bergoglio over risotto and wine. It was the evening before the pre-conclave general congregations—as Murphy-O’Connor recalls in his memoirs—and the old friends were discussing “the sort of person we felt the cardinals should elect.”
A day earlier, an anonymous cardinal had been quoted saying, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” Later, Murphy-O’Connor would utter that same phrase, adding: “But pray to God we have him for much longer than that.”
Murphy-O’Connor was, as his memoirs detail, arrested by the careening post-conciliar “runaway Church”—cracking open the “rather rigid and self-righteous” Church of the past. But Murphy-O’Connor understood that “incremental change is usually best”: the “trick” to keeping peace was to “let the leash out gently, so that you could allow things to develop while staying in control.”
Cardinal Bergoglio was the mafia’s chosen leader for this “gentle” revolution on a leash. In 2001, Bergoglio had been introduced to the mafia by its leader, the radical “ante-pope” Cardinal Carlo Martini. In the days before the 2005 conclave, Murphy-O’Connor sat with a gin and tonic giving his then-press secretary, Austen Ivereigh, hints about Bergoglio, the eventual runner-up. Now, in 2013, Murphy-O’Connor gave Ivereigh another tip-off that Bergoglio could well be the next pope.
For Murphy-O’Connor and other mafia alumni, including Cardinals Kasper and Danneels, had expertly toured pre-conclave gatherings promoting Bergoglio. And according to Marco Politi, on the evening of March 9, Murphy-O’Connor had met with Cardinals Kasper, Coccopalmerio, Bertello, Nicola, and Tauran to strategize seeking the backing of others. It is unclear whether one of the Italians in the group was the “influential Italian gentleman” who asked then-Cardinal McCarrick to “talk up” Bergoglio, but both McCarrick and Coccopalmerio gave early interviews pushing for a “Latin American” pope.
On March 12, before the conclave’s start that evening, Murphy-O’Connor fell into step beside Bergoglio.
“Watch out, now it’s your turn,” Murphy-O’Connor said.
“I understand,” Bergoglio replied. He was calm, said Murphy-O’Connor, and “was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in.”
The next day, Pope Francis emerged at St. Peter’s Loggia flanked by Danneels, the mafia popemaker who had told a king to legalize abortion and a sexual abuse victim to seek forgiveness. A year later, Murphy-O’Connor boasted that a “Pandora’s box” had been opened and that the cardinals “did not know what a steely character [Bergoglio] was, they did not know that he was a Jesuit in very deep ways, they did not know who they were electing.”
For the new pope shared Martini’s “dream” of “permanent” synodality—permanent revolution, via synods, on “knots” such as marriage and sexuality. Murphy-O’Connor said Pope Francis told him how crucial synods were for enstructuring “collegiality”—mafia code for a decentralized Church authority. Eugenio Scalfari, too, said Francis told him how “long and difficult” Martini’s synodal road would be and how “gently, but firmly and tenaciously” he would need to proceed.
All this talk about long, inexorable marches sounded ominously Gramscian, ominously like a cultural Marxist “revolution by stealth.” When Humanae Vitae was released, Murphy-O’Connor let the leash out artfully, paying lip service to the “Vatican position” on contraception while dispensing “pastoral compassion” to dissenters. Later, amidst the family synods, he would let the leash extend again, saying that doctrine changes indirectly and could “develop” on adultery.
Long ago, Murphy-O’Connor and his mafia predecessor, Cardinal Basil Hume, received letters from Rome after saying “vaguely provocative things” about ordaining married men to the priesthood. Later, Hume would write a document on homosexuality in which he softened the “harsh” term “objectively disordered” and Murphy-O’Connor would crusade for “gay Masses,” calling them a “route back to the sacraments” with “rather better” music to boot.
In 2013, Murphy-O’Connor said how brilliant it was that Pope Francis had quipped, “Who am I to judge?”—a response to a question about Francis’s promotion of a cleric with a history of homosexual scandals. Historian Henry Sire argues that such patronage fits a “pattern”—one “well established” during Bergoglio’s time in Argentina—“whereby he surrounds himself with morally weak people so as to have them under his thumb.”
Asked, before the conclave, whether he would advise that the new pope be “free from any kind of taint of cover-up,” Murphy-O’Connor at one point said: “You’re not going to get a saint straight away, you know; we’re all sort of, we’re all sinners” (31:31). Murphy-O’Connor had himself covered up for a notorious abuser who went on to molest other young victims, some disabled. One of the priest’s confirmed victims claimed that when he abused her Murphy-O’Connor and others were present and involved—yet the CDF’s 2013 investigation into Murphy-O’Connor was stopped because it lacked Pope Francis’s approval. Sources for a respected Vaticanist claim that an angry Francis interrupted Cardinal Müller while he was saying Mass, ordering the investigation’s shutdown.
Murphy-O’Connor died in 2017, too soon to witness what lay beyond “four years of Bergoglio.” After five years of Francis, the pro-“LGBT” Fr. James Martin and alumni of the “gay Masses” were speaking officially at the World Meeting of Families—while Archbishop Viganò was claiming that Pope Francis had knowingly rehabilitated McCarrick and that Coccopalmerio was part of a “homosexual current” trying to subvert doctrine on homosexuality.
Coccopalmerio, who helped elect Francis after serving as Martini’s longtime personal secretary, has openly praised the “positive elements” of same-sex unions. He was also allegedly connected to a drug-fueled homosexual orgy at a CDF apartment. He reportedly pushed for leniency for sex abusers as a Francis-appointed member of an appellate review board—even swaying Francis to overrule CDF sanctions against a notorious molester of boys.
In 2014, Ivereigh pointed out that Coccopalmerio, then the Vatican’s top canon law advisor, was “working out the details” on giving synods real decision-making power. In 2018, a new papal document stated that a synod’s final document could be declared part of the pope’s “ordinary magisterium.” Then a youth synod final document, largely authored by the Vice President of the Martini Foundation, smuggled in rigged agendas on “LGBT” causes, conscience’s autonomy, and mafia-style “synodality.” Pope Francis, who helped draft the contentious final text, will release a full post-synodal exhortation soon.
Meanwhile, the synodal machine prepares to churn out revolution regarding the mafia’s other “knots,” including the “shortage of ordained ministers,” the “role of woman” in the Church, and the “need to revive ecumenical hopes.” Shortly before the 2013 conclave, Murphy-O’Connor said the issue of ordaining married men to the priesthood “very well might come up,” though it wouldn’t be “first on the agenda” (21:38). Now, Pope Francis has said he’s “open” to the practice—presaging the agenda of this year’s Amazon synod.
The larger goal, as Kasper’s book on Martin Luther makes clear, is to fully overcome “confessionally constricted Catholicism” in the name of ecumenical unity. Hence, as others explain, the revolution’s attempts to weaken Catholic markers such as the papacy, celibacy, auricular confession, indissoluble marriage, and the Holy Eucharist. The plan is to refashion the Church into a sort of federation of local churches—a postmodern “polyhedron” with diversity on doctrine and more (cf. Evangelii Gaudium 236, 32).
Pope Francis’s “small-step strategy is the right one,” Kasper explained to homosexual activist Frédéric Martel. “If you advance too quickly, as in the ordination of women or the celibacy of the priesthood, there will be a schism… I tried to move the debate [on recognizing homosexual couples] forward at the  synod, but we weren’t listened to. Francis found a middle way by talking about people, about individuals. And then, very gradually, he moved the lines.”
Kasper was gesturing towards the mafia’s ominous last “knot”: the relationship between “civil laws and the moral law.” Both Kasper and Danneels hailed homosexual “marriage” laws, while Martini and Danneels defended or even promoted legal abortion. For the “gently” leashed revolution leads, finally, to the “anti-creation”—pillared on the legal “rights” to abortion and the homosexual subversion of marriage.
“We will win,” Kasper insisted to Martel, smiling.
Editor′s note: Above, Pope Francis appears with cardinals at the window of St Peter′s Basilica after being elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013, at the Vatican. Cardinal Danneels of the St. Gallen Mafia is second from right. (Photo credit: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)