Habebimus Papam

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Eiffelland, Oct 31, 2017.

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  1. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Abtei Herzogenrode
    30 km northeast of Warnemünde, Eiffelland


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Abdij_Rolduc_luchtfoto.jpg

    The Abbey of Herzogenrode was one of the largest still existing abbeys in Eiffelland. Grounded in the beginning of the 12th century, the only building that was still from those days was the abbey church, an enormous romanesque cross church. All other abbey buildings were from the baroque and the rococo. Especially the library was a rococo-fest.

    The abbey was situated at the edge of the estate Herzogenrode and the village of Herzogenrode. Both the estate and the village were property of the abbey. The estate was 4 km2 large, and consisted mainly of fruit trees and blueberry plants. Together with the inhabitants of the village, the monks took care of the estate. The abbey financed itself with selling fruit, jam and honey. Furthermore, it contained a major seminary. And it was the place where the Pope of the Tiburan Church had his residence.

    Twenty-one years ago, Pope Pius XII acceded to the Papal Throne, and chose the Abbey in Herzogenrode as his residence. Consequence of this choice was, that the abbey had to be extended. New buildings were constructed next to the abbey. The major seminary as well as the bedrooms of the monks moved there. Also the Pope’s employees had their bedrooms and apartments in the new buildings. The abbot stayed in the abbot house, a part of the abbey was refurbished as the Pope’s residence, and the remainder of the abbey became offices from where the Pope reigned the Catholic Church and the abbot reigned the abbey.

    Pope Pius XII was both very conservative and very authoritarian. He selected his staff not only based on quality and devotion to the Church, but also on docility and devotion to himself. He reigned the Church according to his own ideas; all others just carried out his orders, or based their deeds on what they thought that the Pope wanted.

    This all went well until 10 years ago. The people around the Pope didn’t understand what was happening, but they did see that something was happening. Suddenly the Pope started to develop problems with finding the right words. He also started to ask questions he had asked five minutes ago. In the beginning, this did not lead to problems, but it started to become a problem when he started to fail to carry out his duties as the Pope. Later on, he became desoriented in the abbey he had lived in for many years, and he started to become really apathetic. And all this combined with sudden outbursts of anger, during which he gave the strangest orders. Luckily, the people of his staff were wise enough to not carry those orders out, but they were not capable enough to develop their own ideas on how to run The Church. The Pope hadn’t selected his staff with that in mind. So, when the Pope stopped reigning The Church, his men didn’t take over. That was eight years ago. Six years ago, the Pope didn’t know any more who the people in his staff were. He thought that his camerlengo was his father, and that the abbot was one of the teachers at his primary school.

    Of course the Pope was investigated by a neurologist in Warnemünde, but he couldn’t do anything else than diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease. And the Church Law didn’t foresee in removing the Pope from office, or at least taking tasks away from him. That was something the Pope had to decide himself. And during the period that the Pope still knew that he was the Pope, he didn’t realise the consequences of his disease, so he did not abdicate or delegate his tasks. At a certain moment, he just didn’t know any more that he was the Pope, and it was too late to abdicate or delegate his tasks. His staff became a flock of sheep without a shepherd. The Cardinals and Bishops outside Herzogenrode knew what was going on, but kept that a secret. Instead, they started to rule their dioceses themselves.

    It was three days before All Saints Day and four days before All Souls Day, when the lost consciousness while sitting in his wheelchair. He rolled the Pope to his bed, and asked two monks to help him with putting the Pope into bed. Twelve hours later, in the early morning of Monday 30 October 2017, Pope Pius XII died. The court-physician diagnosed the Pope’s death. Then Camerlengo François Navarre took the small silver hammer that had been made for this occasion centuries ago. He ticked Pope Pius three times on the forehead with this little hammer, and shouted the baptismal name of the Pope. The Pope did not react. Then Navarre declared: “The Pope is dead.” He broke the Fisher Ring and the Papal Seal. Then everybody left the papal room. Navarre sealed the room, and took up his task to announce the death of Pope Pius XII to the world.


    OOC: DISCLAIMER: This post is NOT about the Real Life Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, who was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1939 to 1958 under the name Pius XII. This post is about the roleplay figure Pius XII. Each and every similarity between the contents of this post and any living person or any person who ever lived is based on nothing else but coincidence.
     
  2. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    It was no mystery that Henry Cardinal Stewart was one of the most conservative princes of the Church; an Eiffellandian cardinal had once called the Archbishop of Windhaven "the last medieval man in Europe." The modern men he disdained would say his bright blue eyes pierced; in Gunnland, where he was very popular, the common folk said they twinkled. He looked vaguely like a bird. He walked around the soccer field behind the abbey behind his great beak of a nose, white hair sticking messily out of his red zucchetto. On either side of him were two large men and officials in the Gunnish régime that dwarfed the slender cardinal (tall as he was), one a doughfaced attorney in a homburg whose immense beige trenchcoat only suggested the globulous shape of his hulking mass, the other a broad-shouldered priest with curly black hair the same color as his cassock. Cardinal Stewart, dispensing with the usual pablum about discerning the Holy Ghost's will, was now down to brass tacks:

    "They will think I am a sure vote for the most conservative of the papabile."
    "The Beiran cardinal?" asked Padraig Smith, the enormous attorney general, canon law expert, and Church politics junkie.
    "Perhaps. The cardinals know little of one another. Who the Holy Father has raised to the cardinalate is not even clear."
    "You shall not vote for a conservative?" asked Coemgein Gallagher, the censor, a curious tone replacing his usual arch irony.
    "Not if some progressive, young and preferably incompetent, will make me Cardinal Secretary of State."

    When the birdish cardinal smiled, he looked sort of like a reptile.
     
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  3. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    Cardinal Ben Lishke, like most of his peers, is an old man. Having only been put in his position for his charisma and devoutness, to both the word of the Lord and to Pope Pius XII. He did what he was told but voiced his opinion loud, whether it was his opinion or the now deceased Pope's is a whole other issue.

    He arrived in Herzogenrode by himself, as he was use too. Geotri was not as devoutly Catholic as it once was, but still retains a fair amount of its holy believers. He wandered just outside the courtyard, admiring the beauty of the landscape. His thoughts slowly turned from the awe inspiring landscape to the other Cardinals, and who he should vote for. He pondered for a while but then returned to the courtyard.
     
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  4. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    Teofilo Cardinal Passos was a man a bit younger than his peers, going towards 60, and yet he was recognized by the most of the Church as the most Conservative of the Papabile. He started to study theology relatively late in life. He first studied history, specializing with a thesis comparing the ideologies behind the Gunnish and the Beiran Catholic Revolutions. While researching for the thesis he started to become interested in theology and received in time a second degree and later a PhD in Theology. As he thought of himself, though he was working tirelessly to keep this hidden from the world, he wasn't really that interested in the spiritual affairs of the Church, but more into the social ones. He was seeing himself as a revolutionary. A peculiar revolutionary. A conservative revolutionary. He wanted the social teachings of the Church to return to the main stage of politics, thus creating a third way between Capitalism and Communism. He wanted end all this anti-Tiburan scandals have been fostered by anti-clerical movements in the Frontier Lands and catalyzed by lone wolf Tiburan terrorism and inaction from the Holy See. As much as he wanted to crush many of the secularists which were campaigning to end the authority of the Church, he still had to be pragmatic. The era in which the Church has to fight it's enemies with sword in hand was over. Today the fight must go on to win the hearts and minds of the people. Yes, a Crusade had to be called, but it was a social one. The Church had to work much more to improve the lives of the people and with it to fend off the expansion of liberalism and socialism, of capitalism and communism. He saw himself as the only one with a necessary vision to do this. And if not, if he wasn't the one to do, provided that he wouldn't be elected in the conclave, he wished to turn to a colleague of his, who came from a nation as devotedly Catholic as his, Gunnland.
     
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  5. Vinedia

    Vinedia Member

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    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    Despite the vows and the subsequent religious commitment, 68 years-old Cardinale Fulgenzio Anafesto Ipato never made a mistery of his riches. As one of the wealthiest families of the Republic, the Ipatos participated and influenced the political and economic life of the country for over a thousand years. A power which culminated with the nomination of Fulgenzio's ancestor, Paulicio Ipato, as the 8th Doge of the Republic of Vinedia. The See of Saint Mark is devotely catholic, obsessed by the cult of its patron Saint, and it perfectly reflects the ultra-conservative establishment that has been strangling the country for the last two centuries.

    The Cardinal arrived in Herzogenrode by plane, a state-owned plane bearing the coat of arms of the Republic of Vinedia. He is not bothered by those who accuse him of wasting public money despite the severe economic and financial crisis the Republic has been facing for the last decade.

    By the way he shows and exhibits his golden rings, he is not ashamed of his lifestyle so far and so incompatible with the poverty and umility preached by the Church. He is followed by his personal secretary and two Ducal guards who wear the traditional blue doublet. Everybody knows the man for his double-faced personality and his total disregard for moral integrity as long as there is a profit to be made. A man of intrigue, a man of plots and despicable exchange of favors. A man who represents an embarassement for the Church, yet someone who somehow managed to become a Cardinal in shady circumstances. Circimstances that died with Pope Pius XII.
     
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  6. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    Cardinal Taft was perhaps the most unusual amongst his brethren. Not particularily for his ambition or his theological views, even though his ultra-conservative alignment was always sure to rub his more reformist fellows the wrong way. What was so special about the Archbishop of Westport was, that he was the only one to have never set a foot into his own diocese. He was the result of a longstanding feud between the Socialist World Republic and the Tiburan Catholic Church.

    When the Socialists took over the Implarian colonies and declared their global ambitions, the church refused to their attacks and demands. It was the holy church, ever unfaltering. It had seen worse and it would still be standing once that red Babylon had crumbled to dust. The World Republic had appointed their own man as Archbishop instead. To this day the Catholic Church refused to acknowledge that socialist puppet as one of their own and instead, it had made a habit out of appointing their own Archbishop in exile and keeping him around has Cardinal.

    A Cardinal against Communism.

    It was perhaps no wonder then, that Taft was such an outspoken conservative. His entire duty as Archbishop consisted in confronting those corrosive influences emanating from Implaria. Their continued attacks on the rightful order of things, their undermining of the christian family, their insidious attempts to spread atheism and sin. Taft could become rather passionate when speaking about such evils. A passion that had earned him his position in the first place and made him a persona non grate in the World Republic long before.

    Yet there was more to his politics than merely being the official Archbishop of Westport and having to confront his socialist contender and those who wish for rapproachment with the reds. Taft was a member of the Ordo Solaris, a well connected group of ultra-conservatives within the church who lament the spread of secularism across Europe in the modern age and wish for the church to return to a more proactive, more political role. A group which hoped not for reconciliation and cooperation with the other sects of christianity or even those ungodly realms of the mohammedans or the communists, but who rather wish that the church would throw down the gauntlet and challenge them for the souls of mankind.

    Taft was an ambitious man and he had come to the Conclave with the full intention of becoming the next pope. Sure, he should be a more humble man, but he accepted that what little sin he carried in himself could be utilized for the good of the church, could make him an appropriate tool for the will of god. It would allow him to overcome the challenges in front of him, hopefully enabling him to strike the deals necessary to earn him the power to change the church. However, he would not forget that this wasn't about him but about the future of christendom. If it turned out that Taft did come within striking distance of the holy chair, he would be content to help another of their own, another true christian to rise to power.
     
  7. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Trier, Eiffelland

    “What if Strelecki becomes Pope?” King Albrecht asked.

    “What if he retires? He is 72 years old,” Chancellor Graf von Seydewitz said. “We must prevent that Meyer succeeds Strelecki as Archbishop of Weissenfels. The man is capable to refuse to crown Prince Friedrich when he deems him not Catholic enough. And apart from that, exactly Strelecki and Von Aschenbach managed to hold of the secularisation in Eiffelland. It was Pius’s disease that allowed them to sail the course they sailed, and that kept the Catholic Church alive in Eiffelland. Meyer will destroy all the work that Strelecki and Von Aschenbach did, and I hope that the next Pope will realise that.”

    “But how are we going to prevent Meyer from succeeding Strelecki? If the next Pope is a conservative one, he might appoint Meyer,” the King said.

    “I am working on that, Your Majesty. Don’t worry,” the Chancellor said.


    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    The distance between Köln and Herzogenrode was not really big. Cardinal Von Aschenbach didn’t have to travel a lot. That was different for the Cardinals Strelecki and Meyer, who had to come from Weissenfels and Weimar. Von Aschenbach was already in Herzogenrode for a couple of hours when Strelecki and Meyer arrived.

    Strelecki and Von Aschenbach were both quite liberal, and that was the reason why the churches in Eiffelland were full every Sunday. Even the people who went out on Saturday evening often tried to be in the church on Sunday.

    Meyer was a different kind of person, however. He was a conservative hardliner. The only reason why he would vote for Strelecki was to succeed him. He knew, however, that Strelecki would arrange for somebody else to succeed him if he could. Therefore, he would put his cards on a conservative candidate. Strelecki would retire in three years anyway.
     
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  8. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Purpoole, Gunnland
    60km southeast of St. Tears

    Four crystal snifters clinked, "To the hidden queen!" and the men gulped their whisky down. The secret news from Robert's father-in-law was surprising. Queen Julian. But it was certain; Prime Minister Gallagher had a letter in a wax seal. After everything the Church and the MacLeishes had done to the poor princess, Mary MacLeod and Yorc MacAllister (of all people!) crown Julian queen. In his wicker wheelchair, King Josias was busily affixing his signatures to a sheaf of papers. His daughter would be queen, in law, even if the world discovered he was alive. The fourth man was an enormous bishop with a boyish face, a purple zuchetto covering his baldspot, wearing a black cassock and pellegrina with amaranth trim: Justin Broithe, Bishop of Ayr. Fortunate that I made Justin the king's confessor, Robert thought. The king wanted Henry Cardinal Stewart's head on a plate when he learned of the kidnapping of Julian. Bishop Broithe cleared his throat,

    "Interesting timing for a dust-up with the Kashtanese, prime minister. I read your public statement."
    "Oh, yes, well they went too far accusing us of terrorism, excellency. And the cardinal mentioned..."​
    "Aha, I see, the cardinal mentioned. Very interesting timing."

    James Gallagher made a 'hm' sound and frowned naïvely. But Robert understood immediately, and King Josias looked up and raised an eyebrow underneath his dark blue tartan tam o' shanter. Just before they are locked away in the conclave, the Gunnish cardinal makes sure the kingdom is the loudest defender of the Tiburan Church. So, Henry Cardinal Stewart wanted to be pope.
     
  9. Wrenhaven

    Wrenhaven Well-Known Member

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    Bishop Néstor Espinoza was old. Even by the standards of the holy Tiburan Church, he had lived far beyond what was typical for that ancient theogerontocracy. He had served as the Bishop of La Vieja, the chief episcopal see in Andaluz, since 1962, and had lived to see his 93rd birthday some three weeks ago. Though he could still walk, he did so with some difficulty and the assistance of a cane. Though he could speak, he did so with a pronounced lisp – a consequence of two strokes earlier in his life – and at a volume barely above a whisper. Due to his advanced age and increasingly fraying mind, his subordinates had largely been left to run the affairs of the Church in Andaluz as they would, but the topic of Papal succession demanded his presence personally.

    He would not be convinced otherwise, he would see to the matter of the succession himself. “He's been waiting for me to die for sixty years!” he barked at his cohorts when they tried to plead with him to send another in his stead, speaking of the late Pope. “This is a vote I won't miss!”

    Now, seated in a high-backed and plush chair among his ostensible fellows, Bishop Espinoza appeared somewhat out of place. He intermittently murmured and cackled to himself, all the while sipping from a cup of orange juice that kept on being intermittently refilled. His seat was altogether too big for him, and it looked as though the man had lost thirty pounds since last he'd worn the cassock – skeletal, haggard, and with half-lidded bloodshot eyes sweeping back and forth across his surroundings with only faint recognition.

    Still, technically the man had a vote.
     
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  10. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    Somewhere on the Trans-Touyou Railway, Kadikistan

    Somewhere in the last few hours, the monotonous grey and white of the mountainous highlands had given way to lush forests, the color of their leaves already having turned mostly into a brilliant array of magenta, beige and brown. Slowly but steadily, the aging locomotive pulled the carriage and its passengers towards its destination, towards the Trivodnian border.

    Ceo Juun let the prayer beads glide through his hands in a calm and steady motion. His private cabin gave him the liberty to do so without raising suspicion.

    He was no bishop. There were no bishops in Kashtan, none who were not in cahoots with the Party, anyhow. But was he really one to talk, to judge them? All things considered, he had been more than lucky, when it came to life in Kashtan in general, but particularly life as a member of the World Church. An inoffensive and unnoticeable position as a small town bureaucrat in a regional foreign language institute and newspaper office, a party membership that granted a privilege or two.

    As far as Kashtanese lives went, his was good. Even better: The network of benefactors that through all these years seemed to have protected his path, facilitated his rise into the rank of the cardinals, his permission to attend a conference on Old Eastern European languages in Trivodnia that might or might not actually exist. He was no particularly adept theologian, but in Kashtan, he was the one-eyed man among the blind. What he lacked in formal canonical education, he made up for in silent, brooding contempt for the circumstances the likes of him had been cast into under the President's reign.

    When the line of Prester Kings that that ruled the Frontier in the name of Christendom went extinguished almost eight centuries ago, so did the flame of Tibur in the East.

    What followed, was a tragedy.

    Those that remained submitted, or fell into heresy. The most devout went into hiding, their scriptures locked away behind ancient cyphers so opaque that most laypeople would struggle to retrace the revealed word of God from them, their saints becoming Bodhisattvas, their churches temples and shrines. To the outside world they were known as the Hidden Herd, or simply the Pectorites.

    How fitting it was, then, that he would arrive in pectore.

    He put aside his beads and turned his gaze towards his watch. 15 more hours till Trivodnia, where he would board a flight to Eiffelland, the first flight in his entire life. He would, of course, not attend a language conference. He would attend the conclave.

    His fake Trivodnian passport was in order. He prayed that his Krasnislavian was as well; his distinctively eastern visage was suspicious enough as it was.

    Oh Lord, the cardinal returned to prayer, turning his thoughts towards the deceased pope who's successor he now would have to elect - or become.
     
  11. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    An EKW E6 with Trierer licence plates stopped in front of the abbey. Two men stepped out. One of the men was wearing a dark blue suit, a white shirt, a dark red tie and brown shoes. He was the driver, and the body guard of the second man, who wore a dark grey suit, a light violet shirt, a tie with dark red and dark blue stripes from upper left to lower right, and black shoes. He had an attaché case in his right hand. Archbishop Strelecki was expecting them. Still in Weissenfels, he had been informed. Ten minutes ago, his secretary received a telephone call. Strelecki couldn’t work with a mobile phone, so his secretary handled that for him. The telephone call was from the man in the dark grey suit. He wanted to inform the Archbishop that he would arrive in ten minutes. After that telephone call, Priest Maxim Rohland went to the entrance of the abbey to await the two men.

    Archbishop Strelecki was a man with dark eyes, and hair that used to be black in earlier days. His eyebrows were still black. His face clearly showed that he was a man in his seventies, but he was still energetic and had the overall health of a thirty-year old man. He would be eligible for retirement in three years, but he himself would love to continue working after his 75th birthday. If the new pope would allow him to do.

    When Roland saw the two men arriving, he walked to them and greeted them.
    “Good afternoon, gentlemen,” he said. “My name is Maxim Rohland. Archbishop Strelecki sent me.”
    “Good afternoon, Sir,” the man in the dark grey suit said. “My name is Karsten Heinemann. This is my secretary Arthur Schmidt.”
    “How do you do?” Rohland said. “Did you have a fine journey?”
    “It was alright, thank you,” Heinemann said. “Do you by any chance know where Cardinal Meyer is?”
    “I think he is in his rooms, but I don’t know for sure. We didn’t have him followed. It could be that he would notice that.”
    “I understand,” Heinemann said. “Could you lead us to his rooms?”
    “Of course. Let’s go there,” Rohland said.

    The three men met Archbishop Strelecki in front of the door of Cardinal Meyer’s rooms. After having shaken hands, Strelecki knocked on the door. A priest opened.
    “Good afternoon, Your Eminence. Good afternoon, Sir. Good afternoon, gentlemen. How can I help you?” the priest asked.
    “Good afternoon, Sir. We would like to talk to Cardinal Meyer,” Strelecki said.
    “Oh. I’m awfully sorry, but Cardinal Meyer is not here at the moment. He went out for a walk,” the priest said.
    “Oh, that’s not a problem. Then we wait in his room,” Strelecki said and walked towards the door opening. The priest didn’t dare to block off the Archbishop, who was also the Metropolitan of the Church Province of Eiffelland, so he stepped aside, giving room to all four men.


    Warnemünde, Eiffelland

    “So that’s all arranged. Have a safe journey,” Cardinal Meyer said to a man in a grey sports suit, after handing him a thick envelope. They spoke to each other in Cardinal Meyer’s car, which was parked at the seaport of Warnemünde. After this talking, the man would sail away with a freighter to a country in Southern Hymiar.
    The man stepped out of the Cardinal’s car. Then the driver came back in. The car drove away. The man walked to his ship. But he would never arrive there.


    Herzogenrode, Eiffelland

    The mobile phone of Heinemann gave a short beep. Heinemann took the phone out of his pocket. He had received an SMS message. The message said: “Karl Ziesche arrested. Karaboudjan currently being investigated. Weapons and explosives found in Ziesche’s room. Remainder of ship currently clean, but investigations not complete yet.” Heinemann’s face showed a smile. He put the mobile phone back in his pocket. “Meanwhile, Ziesche is a notorious name in Eiffelland. Günther Ziesche leads the Volksunion, and his nephew Karl was a future terrorist. Was,” Heinemann thought sarcasticly.
    Half an hour later, Cardinal Meyer arrived at the abbey. He went straight to his rooms. The first thing he heard when he opened the door, was not his secretary’s greet, but the “Good afternoon, Your Eminence” from Arthur Schmidt. He looked at the chairs in front of his secretary’s desk, and saw four people.
    “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” he asked sharply. Then he recognised Archbishop Strelecki.
    “Let’s talk in the private athmosphere of your own room, Sir,” Strelecki said.
    Meyer let Heinemann and Strelecki into his room. Then he said: “I listen, gentlemen.”

    “Let me introduce myself, Your Eminence. My name is Karsten Heinemann. I am the director of the Department Religious Extremism of the Staatsschutz,” Heinemann said. “I don’t think I need to tell you why we are here, but if needed, this attaché case here is full with some nice documents that will be enough for a juicy sentence to the coal mines.”
    “What are you talking about?” Meyer asked.
    Heinemann opened his attaché case, and spreaded out an enormous lot of documents and photos, showing Meyer’s involvement in a couple of terrorist attacks abroad.
    “By the way, talking about uncoverings, Eiffelland’s most conservative bishop, who constantly bloats about what the teachings of the Bible prescribes us to do, doesn’t take his own oath of celibacy seriously,” Heinemann said. “And even violates Leviticus 18 Verse 22. With minors.” Then he showed a couple of pictures documenting that. “Florian Schmidt. Gone missing. Hans Maas. Gone missing. Tim Plöger. Found strangled. Aldo Brunetti. Gone missing. Lorenz Hauck. Gone missing. Franz Schmidt. Gone missing. All boys between ten and twelve years old. And all boys you raped. We presume that the missing boys are all dead, although we never found their bodies.”
    Then Heinemann stopped talking for some moments. Meyer started to talk.
    “This .. this … this is not true. These photographs are fakes,” he said.
    “Not at all. We investigated the pictures thoroughly. This is you,” Heinemann said. “I have enough material to even break the doors open and have you dragged out of the conclave in the middle of a voting, and then have you sent to the coal mines for the rest of your life after a one-hour trial.”
    Then he remained silent again. After a minute, he started to talk again.
    “What did you think? Your own teachings do not apply to yourself?”
    Then he remained silent again. After a minute, he started to talk again.
    “Karl Ziesche has been arrested, by the way. The Karaboudjan is currently investigated by my people. One terrorist attack prevented.”
    Fifteen seconds later, Heinemann started to talk again.
    “You are going to do the following, if you don’t want me to drag you out of here with your hands in handcuffs. You will go into the conclave, and you will do exactly what Archbishop Strelecki will tell you. After the conclave, you will have yourself diagnosed with a severe disease (we know a physician who will cooperate) and will apply for early retirement due to your health status. Furthermore, you will advice the new Pope to create Bishop Horst Bächler of Aachen the new third Cardinal of Eiffelland and later on the successor of Archbishop Strelecki, and to appoint Associate Bishop Jonathan Farnbach as your successor in Weimar. After all that has been arranged, you turn yourself in for the rape of Florian Schmidt, Hans Schmidt, Hans Maas, Tim Plöger, Aldo Brunetti and Lorenz Hauck. Then we will arrange that you will be sentenced to treatment in a psychiatric institution for the rest of your life. In that psychiatric institution, you will live a more comfortable life than you would in the coal mines. If you don’t do this, you will be taken from here handcuffed so that the whole worlds sees that you are arrested, and we will be completely open about the reasons for your arrestment.”
    Meyer was wondering. “What is in it for you?” he asked.
    “First of all, we don’t want yet another reactionary zealot as Bishop in Eiffelland. Furthermore, the Archbishop of Weissenfels has a crucial role for the Royal House: He crowns the King, and he conducts the weddings of the Royal Princes. We don’t want a reactionary zealot in Weissenfels who will put forward demands before he crowns the new King, or refuses to crown the new King for being not Catholic enough,” Heinemann said.
    Meyer remained silent for some seconds. Then he asked: “Strelecki, are you a Bishop of the Catholic Church, or are you part of the Government of Eiffelland?”
    Strelecki replied: “I am a Bishop of the Catholic Church. I am the Archbishop of Weissenfels to be precise, meaning that I have not only clerical powers but also worldly powers. In my function of Bishop, I am obliged to do what’s best for my flock. And that is among others to prevent that I am succeeded by someone who will misuse the worldly powers of the Archbishop of Weissenfels."
    Cardinal Meyer gnashed his teeth. Then he said: "Mr. Heinemann, I will cooperate with you."
     
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  12. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    The plan had been in place for years. Controlling the papacy could bring Gunnland soft power, the kind of power that eluded the backwards kingdom on the northern periphery of Gallia, which lagged behind the southern core militarily, economically, and (many would say) culturally. The Smith-Gallagher circle, where Church and state overlapped, had hatched the plan. Cardinal Stewart hoped it would go better than their plan to remove Princess Julian. Queen Julian.

    Phase one: The gigantic doughfaced attorney was in Trier, huffing and puffing to and from the Gunnish embassy. Padraig Buchanan Smith was whispering warnings to drug-dealers and hitmen connected with the global MacLeish crime syndicate at restaurants. The broad-shouldered and curly-haired priest was in Bremen. Coemgein Gallagher made clandestine appointments with the more outspokenly conservative Gunnish priests in the expatriate parishes, especially those rumored to have connections with terrorist organizations. These were diversions. The intelligence services and policemen of Eiffelland were not morons.

    Phase two: Wait. See whether the frontrunner was a reasonable man of faith, like Meyer, Ipato, or Passos. Or a crusader like Taft. Perhaps then a deal could be made.

    Phase three: Henry Cardinal Stewart rubbed his thumb against the cold silver of his pyx. He wasn’t sure he liked the idea of using it. But in case of emergency; the Church cannot fall into the hands of godless men, neither those without the Church nor those within it. Inside, a tiny canister of pressurized carbon dioxide could discharge a tiny ricin-laced pellet at a rate of many, many feet per second. The cardinals were all old men, and old men tended to die.
     
  13. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    Slowly the members of the conclave arrived and Cardinal Taft, who recognized most of them, was breathing some sighs of initial relief. It was clear that the liberal reformers would constitute a tiny minority. Chances were good that the Cardinals would try to one-up each other with conservative stances and commitments to right-wing policies. Which of course was a competition on Tafts hometurf. He could advertise himself with his anti-communist pedigree and his connections in the Ordo Solaris would try to ensure one of their own to leave the first round of voting as forerunner.

    There was still some time before the conclave began and they would all be locked up together to begin the election. Time which Taft intended to use to assess his fellow cardinals.

    "Brother Ipato," he greeted the Vinedian cardinal. "I am glad to see you could join us. It eases my mind to see a man like you, who has so steadfastly ensured that decency and christian morals reign surpreme in his country, will cast his ballot to ensure the future pope does the same for the entirety of the church."

    He waved over to the next man passing them. It was the Eiffelländer Cardinal Meyer. "Don't you agree, brother Meyer? I understand that the future pope will have some influence over the future course of the church in Eiffelland. Can we rely on your vote for a man that will maintain the independence of the church and ensure it will continue to uphold christian values instead of succumbing to masonic influences?"
     
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  14. Bezonvaux

    Bezonvaux Active Member

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    Cardinal Raoul Castelar cut quite an unusual figure with his shaved head and scarred face he appeared more like a soldier than a priest,indeed he was both and he had arrived not just for the conclave but also to canvas support for the Royalist cause. Castelar had always been against been suspicious of left-wing politics but the recent war in his homeland hand turned this distrust into a burning hatred and he was determined to do all that he could to ensure the next pope be a man of tradition, a firm hand to guide the faithful in these troubled times.

    He thought highly of both the Beiran and Gunnish cardinals, Passos stand against secularization mirrored his own beliefs, and while he agreed with much that the Gunnish Cardinal Stewart said he did not entirely trust the man..something about his eyes made him uneasy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  15. Vinedia

    Vinedia Member

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    "Brother Taft!" Fulgenzio extends his arms in an unusually warm greeting. "Indeed the Republic has embraced the path of the Lord, and it has been doing so for over a thousand years. On the contrary, it saddens me that the people of the World Republic have not yet fully embraced the only true faith. But i understand that when men attempt to replace our Lord and saviour, it is hard to guide the flock. Even for faithful servants of the Lord, like you and me.." the Vinedian cardinal then makes a pause, during which he quickly looks around the room "I have no doubt the Lord will guide the conclave trought this process, and make sure the next Pope will be strong enough to halt this renewed wave of degeneracy.."
     
  16. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    Of course Cardinal Juun knew most of the other cardinals - that is, from writing or second hand information. The actual contact he had to the World Church from within Kashtan was extremely limited, and he could not necessarily trust that the information he had received over the years would be accurate. In fact, he suspected, a whole lot of deviancy must have entered those missives over time, as so-called progressives had used the opportunity that the silencio of the the late Pius had provided them with.

    An opportunity to stray from God.

    The Hidden Herd, as he considered it, had many hundreds of years ago locked away its cognitive understanding of the scripture for the sake of survival, which certainly without a doubt had led to a degeneration in the cultural and spiritual practice as perceived by outsiders of the community in Kashtan. However, and this was his steadfast belief, their prolonged history of martyrdom and the inherited burden of secrecy had made them an uniquely devout flock of God's children, even though the bishoprics of the East remained vacant to this very day and many laypersons could hardly tell the difference between a heretic mountain spirit and a Catholic saint.

    He was simply the Pater, the primus inter pares,his face known only to few, and his sermons passed by rote memorization in a system of Huanghese Whispers from faithful to faithful.

    As Pater, he was not the equal to any of these high churches of the prince, masters of theology who had harnessed their skills in years of scholastic learning, but he knew a thing or two about secrecy, working with people and facilitating affairs of the shadows. And, most importantly, he was their equal in terms of having a vote.

    "Cardinal Taft...I believe?", he opened at last, his eyes having carefully darted around as he had silently observed the dynamics unfolding around him, finding the social anchors. Those that were opening up other cardinals. The leaders.

    "What tragic circumstances to meet in for the first time, but the Lord's ways are mysterious and not for us to know."

    He shrugged.

    "Well, I guess some of the ways some of us took here were also...unorthodox." He hinted at a laughter. "In any case, I have heard much about you in the East, and I can assure you, it were always only words of praise. They said that you were a devout supporter of the late Holy Father's mission to remind Christendom of its moral imperatives."

    "They also say that you have been a staunch supporter of those of us that do not have been granted the blessing to preach the word of God in freedom...well, I do not need to tell you about that, of course."
     
  17. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Cardinal Passos knew Taft very well. Espinoza too. Himyar was like a neighborhood in which everyone knew each other. Taft's presence was something he hoped he would avoid as he was something that even him called too conservative. He called Taft a crusader as he was too intransigent. Maybe that is why his country ended up being communist. The church was not there to give the people something material to help them. As much as your soul is healed, you still need a bread to keep your stomach full. And you still needed to go above those primal instincts if you really wanted to thing about spirituality. That was the historian and pragmatist in Passos speaking. The theologian in him was silent, as it was every time. He despised Taft for being so blind. If he would become the next pope, he might as well be the last, as in the end there will be just an empty husk of a Church. No, the church needed to become as viable and attractive as communism. The Church needed a series of social teachings so that the people of the 21st century can relate to it and can use it as a counter-argument to communism. That is what Teofilo Passos wanted if he was to become a pope, but it became clear to him that the appearance the more known and charismatic Implarian cardinal has taken away all his conservative base of support. He didn't let arrogance blind him. He understood it quickly that if his faction and Taft's faction were to collide, only the Eiffellandian liberal faction under Strelecki would win. That mustn't happen. No, a change in strategy was necessary. If Taft was to cannibalize his conservative supporters, he would let himself go with the flow, only to try to remain in the shadow, to see his vision take place.

    That is why, he went to cardinals Castelar, Stewart, Lishke and Espinoza, the ones he knew they would support him and tried to unite the conservatives and moderates:

    "Your Eminences, it is good to see you again," he said as he respectfully shaken the hands of the four cardinals. "It seems that God has brought us back to a conclave, as his holiness Pope Pius died, may his soul rest in peace forever. But now, I feel that our church might be in a greater danger than it was even during the purging of the faithful in Engellex or during the communist revolution in the Implarian Republic, and sadly I feel that it's demise might be brought by it's greatest defenders. I think you start to understand what I am talking about. Cardinal Taft may be a staunch supporter and defender of the Church and I greatly respect him for that. I truly believe that he is one of those who will work for the betterment of the Church, compared to the more liberal brothers of ours. Yes, he may be intransigent, but I believe that he can make our doctrines as attractive to the masses as communism is in the Implarian Republic. The Church needs to replace communism in the eye of the people. They need to look to us not only for spiritual matters, but social ones too. Please, help me and we may make the Church what it really must be, a social institution towards which people turn in need of help, be it spiritual or material. That is why I want to ask you for your help and your support. I want to make the church present in every corner of the society and develop it from it's classical structure to a more modern one that can appease to the humans of the 21st century. I am talking of Tiburan syndicates rivaling the communist ones, about banks that function without usury, about charity organizations and about an international health system supported by the Church. It may seem materialistic, your eminences, but I am nothing more than a humble defender of the faithful in Beira and it may be seen that through my administration, Beira still is one of the countries closest to the Church and communism in negligible. I want to take the Beiran miracle to a world wide level. We can turn this into a world wide miracle. I do believe that a cardinal in exile like Taft becoming the pope can send a strong message. The right message. As for his flaws, I believe that we can correct them by advising him well, as well as making him understand our vision of the future of the Church."

    Borovanger">@Borovanger @Andaluz Geotri">@Geotri Gunnland">@Gunnland
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  18. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Cardinal Meyer suffered a bit from a nausea. Normally he would have attributed that to what he had just heard from Heinemann, but he had been suffering from a light nausea for weeks. As a result, he had less appetite than he used to have. He didn’t consider the loss of weight problematic and attributed it to the fact that he currently ate less than he used to do. He also had a bit of stomach pain. Strangely enough, the stomach pain became less when he bent forward. He didn’t pay attention to it. The last months had been busy for him, even without the conclave. Maybe it was just stress.


    He frightened up a bit when Cardinal Taft spoke to him. He turned to him and said: “Indeed, the future Pope will be able to change something in the course of The Church in Eiffelland. Strelecki will turn 75 in three years. Officially that means that he can retire, although when I know him well enough, he would love to go on after his 75th birthday, like Cardinal Espinoza.”



    Trier, Eiffelland


    Indeed. There were diversions. The Staatsschutz had troubles to follow Padraigh Buchanan Smith and Coemgein Gallagher, but the diversions were not completely successful. It became more or less clear what Buchanan Smith was doing in Trier, and it also became more or less clear what Gallagher was doing in Bremen. That led to a new question, however: Why was Buchanan Smith contacting the MacLeish clan (because that was the only reason why he contacted local drugdealers), and why was Gallagher contacting shady Gunnish priests in the Little Gunnlandia of Bremen? There was also another question: What was Cardinal Stewart’s role in this?


    “So both OrKri and SpiA are involved in following these two Gunnishmen, and I expect ReliEx to get involved soon as well [1]. These Gunnish guys are involved in so many shady things at the moment. It becomes an idea to create a single department specialised in Gunnish affairs, for Christ’s sake,” Heinz-Karl Farnbach said to the directors of OrKri and SpiA, Ludwig Graf von Waldeck and Christian Berg. He waited a few moments. Then he continued talking.


    “We know that Padraigh Buchanan Smith was also in Eiffelland about a month ago. We know that he went to Aurich, then to Bremen and then to Weissenfels. We don’t know what he did in Aurich, but we know that he visited Duncan MacLeish in Bremen. That was the moment that he became conspicuous. Then in Weissenfels, he visited the Queen-Dowager and at that moment still Princess Julian. It looks like he was on the side of the Gunnish clann Gunn at that moment, but now he seems to have switched sides, because he seems to cooperate with the MacLeishes. Why is this man in Cardinal Stewart’s entourage?” Farnbach took some moments to think. Then he continued.


    “It could be that the Church will get into serious trouble when Stewart becomes the new Pope. Maybe good if Heinemann joins us. Von Waldeck, do you know anything about the kidnapping of Queen Juian?”

    “Nothing more than unconfirmed rumours that Clan MacLeish was involved, together with some Trivodnian gangsters. Motives? If indeed the MacLeish were involved, it could either be a warning to Clan Gunn or an attempt to decapitate the branch of Clan Gunn beheaded by King Joachas and deprive Clan Gunn of a capable leader.”



    OOC: [1] OrKri stands for “Abteilung Organisierte Kriminalität” (department of organised crime), SpiA stands for “Abteilung Spionageabwehr” (department of counterespionage), and ReliEx stands for “Abteilung Religiöser Extremismus” (department of religious extremism).
     
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  19. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    Cardinal Lishke was reserved in thought while is peer Cardinal Passos (OOC: Pretty sure he is speaking because he refers to Taft in his speech) spoke about his ideals and his goals for the church. While he agreed that the Communist Menace must be dealt with, and that Cardinal Taft would be a great man to deal with this, he was most concerned whether or not Taft would have similar views.

    "I would hope he would listen to our council, otherwise we would have voted for him in vain. While my disdain for this politicization of our religion is great, my disdain for it slowly dying off is a thought that is almost unbearable. May The Holy Father show us the way to a better future."
     
  20. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    "Brother Meyer, are you feeling alright?"

    As Bishop of Westport, de jure but not de facto since the World Republic had appointed their own man in his stead whom the church refused to recognize, Cardinal Taft was in the fortunate position to not be tied down with the day-to-day affairs of running his parish. He was one of the most well-traveled and consequentially most well-connected men of the church and he had met with Bishops and Cardinals from all corners of Europe, from the seclusive christians of Kashtan to the more prominent Bishops of Gallia. However, he remembered Meyer as a less nervous, more confident representative of the faith.

    Perhaps it was just the stress of the conclave.

    "I understand that a conclave such as this is always an event with a very... bitter taste to it. We all still mourn the loss of Pope Pius and finding a replacement to a man as devoted to Christ as he was will be a challenging task, indeed. But I also believe in the guidance of our Lord and I am certain that he had great wisdom in choosing the exact time and place he would take Pius from us, as he had his reasons to keep him around for so long, testing his strength and resolve to endure what he had to endure.

    Surely, Christendom is at a crossroads now and I hope you find it not presumptous of me to say that Eiffelland is situated at the center of this struggle. We all must choose now whether we will allow men to defile our holy church who are less beholden to our Lord than they are to worldly rulers and their interests - or whether we take up the sword... figuratively speaking," he added as an afterthought, "to defend our holy mother church from those who would see it sanction ursury, sodomy and adultery. Yes, Eiffelland is far from the only place where this attack on the integrity of the church is waged, but it has men who profess to be leaders of the church who have made themselves the champions of this attempt to defile the faith. This fact, meanwhile, means you carry your very own burden, brother Meyer. Our Lord has chosen you as our bulwark within Eiffelland. I hope you find the strength and resolve to hold strong, just as the late Pius, may god grace him, found the strength to sit the holy chair when he needed to."

    Taft turned to the Vinedian Cardinal. "I believe this is of importance to you as well, brother Ipato. I confess, I had an ulterior motive speaking to both of you at this time and place, right before the conclave would begin. Vinedia is an example of the defense of morality against the attacks raised against it over the course of the whole recent century, while Eiffelland has sadly been made an example of these very attacks. Geographic proximity has linked the fate of your two societies, while it is my interest to see Eiffelland following the example of the Vinedians and not vice versa, we will need a pope that understands the importance of this. One who understands that the church must not be a puppet to worldly interests, but a representative of the will of our Lord on earth.

    As it transpires, several other Cardinals have confided in me their intention to cast their vote in my favour. I hope that you will consider doing so as well. Whether I will actually sit the holy chair, that is up to the guiding hand of the lord himself, but we can not always avoid a bit of politics, can we? A strong voting block devoted to moral values and the independence of the church could steer the course of the election into a beneficial direction."
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017

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