McCarrick on Bergoglio’s Election: “We did it!”

July 15, 2020 (Steven O’Reilly) – Once again, we return to the case of McCarrick and the “influential Italian gentlemen.” This article will provide Roma Locuta Est‘s most important update to the story. I will not re-summarize here the whole history of McCarrick and his ‘mysterious’ visitor in early March 2013. By this point, if you are a denizen of this blog, you are familiar with story of the “influential Italian gentleman” and are probably up to speed on the latest—until now.  If the topic is new to you, you can review the former articles on this topic and the 2013 conclave:
  1. The “Influential Italian Gentleman” (June 25, 2019)
  2.  Questions Regarding the “Influential Italian Gentleman” (June 28, 2019)
  3. 2013 Conclave: Was there a violation of Universi Dominici Gregis 12? (July 31, 2019)
  4. The 7th Anniversary of McCarrick’s “Influential Italian Gentleman” (March 5, 2020)
  5. The Influential Italian Gentleman: McCarrick “touted the praises” of Bergoglio Prior to the Conclave (June 30, 2020)
  6. The “Influential Italian Gentleman”: A Sant’Egidio Connection? (July 15, 2020)
Before providing the latest bit of information, I’d like to say a word as to why we continue to follow and investigate the story. The tale of the “influential Italian gentleman” — along with the related “St. Gallen mafia” story — certainly appear, on the surface at least, to involve potential violations of various provisions of Universi Dominici Gregis. Whether these potential violations would, even if proven true, invalidate a conclave is above my pay grade. I am not a canonist.
However, I do recall Patrick Coffin’s interview of Cardinal Burke in August 2019. The interview touched upon the various concerns surrounding the 2013 conclave involving the activities of the “St. Gallen mafia” and of McCarrick’s “influential Italian gentleman”(see here). During the Coffin interview, Cardinal Burke agreed the McCarrick incident was suspicious. While the cardinal underlined the need for “concrete proofs,” he did wonder whether it was even possible  anyone could demonstrate such proofs. I don’t want to put words in Cardinal Burke’s mouth, but it did not appear he shut the door to ‘something’ being done, provided the right evidence is produced.
We have always believed here at Roma Locuta Est, particularly with regard to the McCarrick story, that there are folks out there with bits and pieces of this puzzle–even if they do not realize what they have. They may be in Rome. They may be in Buenos Aires. They may be elsewhere. Roma Locuta Est has continued to investigate, for example, recently identifying a contemporary witness who affirmed that McCarrick did indeed ‘talk up Bergoglio‘ before the 2013 conclave (see The Influential Italian Gentleman: McCarrick “touted the praises” of Bergoglio Prior to the Conclave).
We continue to investigate because it is an interesting and curious story. As a former intelligence officer, I find such stories fascinating–indeed they are an exciting challenge to take on, and potentially solve. In fact, Roma Locuta Est has two individuals on our “staff” with US intelligence community background who are working this case and evaluating the evidence. What it ultimately means, I can’t say. If nothing else, we and others might be able to contribute a couple bits of information to the historical record with regard to some of the pre-conclave maneuvers. Certainly that, but there is also the long-shot possibility that some of the facts already and or yet uncovered, taken individually or collectively, might some day be deemed worthy of further investigation by Church authorities, i.e., Cardinal Burke’s “concrete proofs.”
Roma Locuta Est has a standing request for priests, bishops, and or cardinals in Rome or for those who might have been in Rome in 2013 (also seminarians at the North American College) to contact us with any information of interest related to McCarrick and the 2013 conclave (laymen too). I am absolutely confident some of you have pieces of this puzzle, perhaps a chance conversation with McCarrick, or an observation–perhaps, most obviously, seeing him with a prominent Italian layman at the North American College in early March 2013, etc. The anonymity of those who contact us will be protected.
The above said as background. As fortune would have it, over the last few months, a number of sources in Rome and elsewhere have reached out and or responded to Roma Locuta Est in its efforts to collect information and to develop leads. One of these sources, a Catholic prelate, offered a particularly noteworthy piece of intelligence. This source informed me that soon after the election of Pope Francis, the source encountered McCarrick in Rome.  According to the source (emphasis added):
“His very first words to me, before he said anything else – indicating that he had been part of a group working on this – were, “We did it.”  The words left me surprised and pondering. Since I was not involved in any campaign, it seemed to me that McCarrick had been.”
We did it.” A short phrase but one packed with implications. The statement and the context reported by the witness certainly is consistent with, if not outright confirmation of the hypothesis there was an active campaign — or should we say ‘conspiracy‘ — to elect Cardinal Bergoglio, something that went beyond the mere “exchange of views concerning the election” allowed by papal election rules, e.g., Universi Dominici Gregis  (cf UDG 81).  This despite the strenuous denials to the contrary made over the years by various “St. Gallen mafia” members and or by Bergoglian groupies. In addition, this information is consistent with, if not confirmation of the view McCarrick specifically campaigned for Cardinal Bergoglio’s election–as requested by the “influential Italian gentleman”–and for which, per Vigano’s Testimony, McCarrick was apparently rewarded by Pope Francis [NB: more of this in an upcoming part II].
Again, we continue our efforts to gather information and or develop leads, whether in Rome, Buenos Aires, or elsewhere. If you read this, and you know something about what really happened, or even if you may have only a small piece of this puzzle–but which has not yet been reported–please contact us.
As for cardinals, bishops, etc., who might be reading this–particularly those cardinals who participated in the 2013 conclave; now might be a good time to seek an opportunity to interview McCarrick, and to query him about the “influential Italian gentleman,” his own efforts on Bergoglio’s behalf, the identities of McCarrick’s “we“, what the we “did” precisely, and what did Bergoglio know about “it.”
There will be a Part II as a followup to this latest revelation released soon (probably within 24 hours).
Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer