I had seen a few news reports last Friday around noon about the release of an alleged diary of a cardinal written during the conclave, including vote tallies. The tenor of all of them is that, much to everyone's surprise, then-Cardinal Ratzinger did not run away with the election. How one of the shortest conclaves in history with alleged vote percentages increasing from just over 40% after the first ballot to nearly 75% only three ballots later is not a runaway is a bit puzzling to me, but whatever. The other bit of buzz is that the only other real contender was Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, not the heterodox darling Carlo Cardinal Martini of Milan as has been generally presumed since Benedict's elevation.
So why "alleged?" My suspicions were not raised when I read the release from the Italian news agency ANSA (cap tip: Papabile), even though commenters suggested the possibility that somebody is lying. It was this bit from the AP:
Finally, the diary includes a few surprises, including a vote in the final ballot for Cardinal Bernard Law, forced to resign as Boston archbishop because of the church sex abuse scandal.So we have one of three possibilities: 1.) Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there is a cardinal who believed Cardinal Law was the right man for the job, 2.) Instead of submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there was a wise guy trying to be funny, or make some still unknown point, or 3.) The diary is a hoax. I refuse to believe option 1 for various reasons, so until and unless Wise Cardinal Guy is revealed, I am sticking with option 3.