Santorum Claims Minority Cardinals Voted Twice in Papal Conclave

Mar 14, 2013

100911_fns_santorum_640Former Republican presidential candidate and conservative Catholic Rick Santorum is pushing for reforms to the papal conclave process, claiming some ethnic minority cardinals may have voted more than once in the recent election of Pope Francis I.

The suspicion comes on the heels of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy, the first non-European pope in a thousand years, and the first ever Hispanic.

“It seems odd that for nearly a millennium the Catholic Church was led by a European,” said Santorum at a hastily-called press conference in Pittsburgh, “and then suddenly, this happens.”

The last several papal conclaves have resulted in Republican claims of voter fraud and Democratic counter-claims of voter suppression, with both sides calling for legal reforms. After the election of Pope Benedict XVI, there were unsubstantiated rumors of robo-calls telling minority cardinals to arrive at the Sistine Chapel the day after the conclave was to begin, which liberals claim tipped the election to the recently-retired Pope.

Rush Limbaugh regurgitated several Vatican election fraud theories on his nationally-syndicated radio show today, including that there have been reports of people voting in the names of dead cardinals.

“Some of the people voting might not even have been Catholics, he bellowed, "I have heard from undisclosed sources of several Jehovah’s Witnesses voting in this latest papal election.”

A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses has pointed out that followers of the faith do not vote in any political elections.

The liberal-leaning Brennan Center for Justice, a New York-based organization that monitors voter rights issues, released a report in 2007 debunking claims of voting irregularities in the papal conclave, but many of the debunked theories are still aired in conservative media and blogs.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has also weighed in on the controversy in a rant during a broadcast today in which he stated, “Come on, those guys don’t even have to show ID. Anyone could walk in there and vote. It’s just stupid.” He has previously spoken out in favor of legislation banning cardinals with felony convictions from voting in papal elections.

For the Greater Glory

Santorum  also claimed that non-residents of Vatican City may have sneaked into the country and voted in the conclave.

“We don’t want to take away the rights of legal cardinals to vote,” said Santorum at a hastily-called press conference in Pittsburgh, “but when illegals are allowed to vote, it undermines the entire process. We know the Hispanics do it here, the question is have they done it there?”

U.S. Senator, Diane Feinstein-D, released a statement in response to the latest round of controversy by pointing out that, “These are the same, tired arguments they bring out after every election. There have only been a handful of cases of voting irregularities in papal conclave history and they were all shown to be due to clerical errors.”

A Vatican spokesman responded to Santorum’s comments and reports of Republican calls for voting reform by stating, “What do they have to say about it? Don’t they know that we are a sovereign country?”

Santorum is still vague with regards to his future political plans, although many, including fellow Catholic Speaker of the House, John Boehner and former Republican and U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have publicly urged him to run for Pope the next time around.

  • sedaliasteve

    Some of the boychiks down at the deli say some rabbis from south of the border were stuffing the ballot box. After all his last name really is Bergenstein.

  • Mekaka

    Well, a winner is a winner. Apart from the anti gay viewpoints (which is no surprise obviously), the new pope seems to be modest and smart enough with his “donate funds instead of traveling to Rome for the big inauguration” and somewhat proactive ideas about contraception. Honestly, that side of the world never affects me but I will give a thumbs up for this guy no matter how, some might assume, he won.

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