Habebimus Papam

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

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  1. Nicosia

    Nicosia Well-Known Member

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    Donnet stood slowly and crossed to the center of the room. He would have to have the heat turned up a bit. In his age he was starting to get cold far more easy. Mumbling slowly died away as the Cardinals stopped talking to each other. He slowly turned until the silence was deafening. "Brother Cardinals. We will vote in a preliminary procedure to determine where we stand. This vote may or may non conclude our conclave. I trust you will all pray on your vote" he said as he picked up a basket of parchment papers. "The attendants will pass around to each of you one piece of parchment paper and one pen" he said. "Two scrutineer priests of different orders await at the altar" he said, gesturing to the altar which had been established in a corner. "As is tradition, the votes will be brought up in order of precedence. The first scrutineer will mix the votes once all Cardinals have voted. The second will count them only when all Cardinals have both voted and taken their respective seats. I will then be motioned to the altar where I will be informed of the results. I will announce the results. After which we will adjourn for 10 minutes. You will find the brothers will then hand out fruit, snacks, and water. Regrettably, no coffee or tea is available. You may leave your seats if you wish but I ask you remain prepared to take them again. This time is encouraged for prayer but is not mandatory. I also wish to remind us of the tradition that no Cardinal may approach the scrutineers nor the brothers once they have passed out refreshments" he concluded. The two attendants, both Franciscan brothers rose to pass out parchment. Donnet returned to his seat to vote himself. The room was washed in silence aside from the sound of parchment being passed out. Only a cough from the scrutineers broke the silence.

    One by one, the Cardinals approached the scrutineers and placed their votes in silver basin atop the altar. Most eyes were fixed on the scrutineers who betrayed nothing in their expressions as the first thoroughly mixed the votes and handed them one by one to the second. It was a full several minutes before the first scrutineer also counted the votes and motioned to Donnet with a curt nod. Donnet rose, stumbling but catching himself on his chair. He smirked and quipped quietly "How this cold can cause one to stumble". He walked slowly to the altar where the scrutineers both exclaimed the results. He nodded and crossed himself before the altar, forgetting to do so on his approach.

    "Brother Cardinals, we seem to have several whom choose to abstain in this preliminary vote. Four for Taft. Four for Meyer. One for Stewart. One for myself. We will now adjourn for 10 minutes of prayer or respite. After the 10 minutes, we will resume with speeches and vote again. If the vote is not conclusive we will adjourn until tomorrow so we may pray and contemplate. May the Lord guide us in our mission" he said, crossing himself.
     
  2. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    So that was the bastards little trick.

    Tafts thoughts strayed to Strelecki when Meyer was announced as his main competitor for the holy chair. He had wondered why the main voice of liberalization within the Tiburan church had seemed so lackluster in his address. Now it dawned on him. He had made a deal with Meyer. The Eiffelländer would use the conservative Cardinal, someone who was palatable to the college of cardinals whose majority were traditionalists.

    You fool, Taft thought to himself, recalling how he had try to sway Meyer to his side. You fool, he repeated whispering to himself, this time in regards to Meyer. This was why he had seemed nervous, almost sick when Taft had spoken to him. Meyer had sold his soul to the interests of the Eiffelländer state. It was clear they wanted a puppet at the top of the Tiburan Church whose strings could be pulled at will. But, Taft wondered, what had they offered Meyer that this man, someone Taft recalled as upstanding servant of the lord, would bow to their interests?

    "Brother Stewart," he turned to the Gunnish cardinal as they all adjourned to their break. For now, he had to get a step ahead of his competition from Eiffelland. "It seems the Holy Spirit does not favour you for the position of leading our church. Let me say, however, that I believe he has destined you to take a perhaps less glamorous, but no less important role in the future of the church."

    That Stewart was an ambitious man was no secret. The pompous way in which he had presented his plans for the church, his personal sigil stamped on them, would have erased any doubts about that had there ever been one. Politically, Stewart and Taft should be considered close enough to be political allies. However, the ambitions of the two men also pitted them against each other and if Taft could not sway Stewart, their interests would run the risk of mutually impeding, even destroying each others campaigns.

    "The ideas you put forward were commendable and well thought-out. I believe any future pope would do well to take them into consideration. Just as I believe that you, brother Stewart, will play a vital role in rebuilding the church to reclaim her lost glory."
     
  3. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "Well," Stewart said as Cardinal Donnet sat back down next to him. "It seems we prepare for yet another Eiffellandian pope." He smiled curtly at the old Burgundian cardinal, but it looked more like a pathetic wince. "I should like to administer Holy Communion at Mass this evening, Cardinal. If I may." Beneath his scarlet ferraiolo, his thumbs rubbed the silver pyx with its deadly ricin dart.

    Taft is better organized than I thought! And why in hell have the liberals stood Meyer, of all people?
    Something smelled fishy to the Gunnish cardinal as he stood to walk out. Now, he was met by Taft, and entirely unperturbed by the thought of this man becoming the next pope. Taft whispered in a low voice. In reponse, Stewart put a hand on the Implarian's scarlet mozzetta. "Well, Brother Taft, the college may yet need a compromise candidate. For now, you have my support, Your Eminence."

    I may even support him, indeed, in the end. But Cardinal Stewart felt overpowering anxiety. The Eiffellandian liberals' support of Meyer disconcerted him. He could not trust the crusaders, who must have come into the conclave well-organized against the Gallian cardinals. Taft must already have a Cardinal Secretary of State picked out. Passos? Castelar? And then there was his greatest problem. Julian, queen! Josias, alive! The surprising recrudescence of the royal Gunns made Cardinal Stewart dread any return to Windhaven. They would not forget what he had done.

    He knew it was time to act decisively. I am so close. It was a struggle to regain his composure.

    When he did, the Archbishop of Windhaven breezed out to the antechamber and found the Archbishop of Weissenfels there, alone. He did not speak in Latin, but in the English with the heavy alevolar trills of Gunnish r's, careless of whether he would be overheard: "Carrdinal Strrelecki, is it brriberry or blackmail you have on Meyerr?" Then he leaned closer in a whisper that was scarcely audible. "It dinnae matterr. Taft's people told me -- they're prreparred teh poison him!"
     
  4. Bezonvaux

    Bezonvaux Active Member

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    Cardinal Castelar sought out Cardinal Taft, he had been a long time supporter of the Cardinal but had not yet publicly aligned himself to the Cardinal but during this crucial time he felt it would be vital he declare his support. " your Eminence I do believe that you will be the next pope and restore the church to greatness, and I would only ask that you not forget those who have supported you and in your serene wisdom perhaps you find a position in the new papacy for a humble servant of god such as myself". It was obvious to Castelar that Taft was the right man for the job, after all the only other candidates were all schemers and politicians something which he was thoroughly sick of, Taft would be a breath of fresh air in the stuffy confines of the church.
     
  5. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Strelecki had some trouble to figure out what Stewart was saying. Like all Eiffellandians, he learned the Engellexian English at school and afterwards, not the Gunnish English. But only some trouble. He understood the accusation, and he understood the threat. He wasn’t surprised at the fact that Stewart suspected a deal between him and Meyer. The threat shocked him, however, despite the fact that he took it into account. So they are really planning something like that, he thought. He decided to counter the attack. In his Engellexian English with a German accent, he said: “Why do you worry, Cardinal Stewart? In the end, Cardinal Meyer only suggested to rephrase the 7th lampstand to avoid misunderstandings, not to strike it. The differences in opinion between him and you are small.”

    Then he bent over to Stewart and whispered back: “After the conclave, I will return to Weissenfels and Cardinal Von Aschenbach will return to Köln. It is not our intention to fill the complete top of the Church with Eiffellandians. If Cardinal Meyer becomes Pope, the Cardinal Secretary of State will be somebody from outside Eiffelland, and I think that Cardinal Meyer will want to choose somebody who agrees with him on a lot of things. He will certainly wish for you as his Cardinal Secretary of State. However, it would also be wise to tell Cardinal Taft’s people that this abbey is located on Eiffellandian soil. This means that, despite the ceremonial role of the Marpesian Guards, the Eiffellandian police are responsible for criminal investigations here. If somebody dies here, the Eiffellandian police will seal this room from the outside like we sealed it from the inside, and at the end of the conclave will arrest all the persons present in this room, including the new Pope, until they either are certain that the person in question died of a natural cause, or find the person who violated the 5th Commandment.”
     
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  6. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "Perrhaps I'm telling yeh to keep an eye on Juun and Taft and the Himyarrians, Carrdinal Strrelecki, because I dinnae want teh see my Church soiled in blood. Meyerrs or Implarrian blood." Cardinal Stewart looked pointedly at the Archbishop of Weissenfels, some warmth thawing his cold blue eyes. "You might rremember tha' if it comes time for a comprromise. It's true Meyerr and I see eye to eye."

    Stewart made an about face. Both leading candidates had promised him an important role in their papacies. He trusted Strelecki's offer more, but he simply trusted Taft more. Something was rotten in the Kingdom of Eiffelland. But perhaps I won't have to murder Meyer and frame Taft after all. Well, until some later ballot.

    He bit hard into a red apple that a Franciscan brother handed him, and went to see what the other cardinals thought of the Taft-Meyer deadlock, looking out especially for Passos, Lagier, and Lishke. Why had so many cardinals abstained?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  7. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    He was unsure whether to believe the Gunnish cardinal when he promised his support, but there was little Taft could do for now to test his loyalty, so he let Stewart slip away. With his brothers in the Ordo Solaris and the support they had mustered within the conclave he could be sure where they stood: they were true believers, demanding no repayment but the knowledge that they served their faith. Stewart was a different type, the ambitious type. That man wanted something in return. Something Taft could easily give him, were he to become pope, but then what? Would the Gunnish cardinal be content with a position of power for the material wealth and prestige it would bestow upon him? Or did he have further plans within the church? Could he trust a man of such ambition to serve?

    "Ah, brother Castelar," Taft noticed the Cardinal from Borovanger approaching and listened to his warm words of praise and promises of support. Like so many else in this rotten church, Taft noted with resignation, Castelar too desires his personal quid pro quo. There was little use to denying him his promise of repayment. The future of the church needed the support of corrupt men just as much as that of true believers. "Trust me, my brother. Your services will not be forgotten. He who serves the interests of the church will not have to wait for the afterlife to earn his just reward. Your support is most welcome and I will make sure to reward it."

    With that matter settled, he excused himself from Castelar. There was one final man he had wanted to talk to before the Cardinals would resume to hold their next speeches.

    "Cardinal Meyer," Tafts voice was sharper, colder than at any point before during the conclave.

    "Let's cut out all the roses and flowers and talk straight. I had thought you an honest man, a loyal servant of god. So tell me, what was your price? What did Strelecki and the Eiffelländer state department offer you to make you their whore?"

    The last word hung in the air, gasping, grasping for something to hold onto. Taft was keeping the suspense intentionally.

    "And then tell me, what does it cost to change your mind?"
     
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  8. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    It was strange how things could go. Actually, what was currently happening, was quite unplanned. At least it was not planned days, months or years in advance. Towards the end of the talking between Heinemann, Meyer and Strelecki, Heinemann suddenly remarked: “But what should we do if Cardinal Meyer suddenly becomes papabilis?” Strelecki started to laugh when he heard that. Then he said: “Well, then he won’t need to ask the Pope to appoint Bächler as my successor and Farnbach as his successor, because then he can handle those appointments himself.” Later on, it appeared that Meyer indeed had a chance, so Strelecki and Von Aschenbach put their support behind him.

    Meyer suffered from his chronic nausea just before the conclave, but when he realised that the papacy could solve all his problems, his nausea went away. Indeed, as the Pope, he would still have to do what Strelecki said, but Strelecki’s only wish was a free hand in Eiffelland regarding appointments, and to create some key figures Cardinal. First Bächler, then in three years Purzmann.

    But now he had to formulate an answer to Cardinal Taft.

    But Cardinal Taft,” he said sharply, ”what are you accusing me of? Why are you using such obscene words in this room and at this moment? What makes you think that you are so sublime compared with the rest of us? Don’t forget the saying ‘he who points with one finger at somebody else, points with three fingers at himself’. You just proved the truth behind this saying by first accusing me of having accepted briberies and then trying to bribe me! You are a very faithful man with great respect for God’s teachings, but you are blind for your own weaknesses! You think that you are without sin and without weaknesses because of your strong faith and your great respect for God’s teachings! This is the attitude of a Pharisee! You are guilty of the sin of haughtiness!
     
  9. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    Juun had no illusions about his own papabilis - as an Easterner in a Church still very much dominated by old white men with old, white beliefs, he would never stand a chance, and being a representative of an odd minority within the faith hardly added to his chances. The Church loved the martyr, but frowned about the inconvenience of martyrdom that had to precede him. A dead man could not speak out, after all.

    No, if he wanted to secure a future for his agenda, he would have to work by proxy, and Taft was just that proxy that he would need. The man was determined, arrogant in a good sense and a staunch traditionalist - a crusader, as some would say. Having visited Kashtan once before (and a quite daring adventure that must have been, the Kashtanese Cardinal surmised), he had, if not sympathy for the Hidden Herd, at least an understanding of their usefulness for a traditionalist Pope. That usefulness would go both ways.

    As he reached for some refreshments, he noticed Strelicki and Stewart standing in a corner, then eventually parting ways. Surely plotting. But in what sense?

    He decided to take charge and investigate.

    "An interesting outcome for sure", the Eastern man opened rather clumsily as Stewart passed by him, surely on the way to talk to more relevant conversation partners. "It just seems so very unfortunate that we might be stuck in here for quite a while. I mean, nothing against the level of mastery that our Franciscan brothers have achieved in terms of their cooking skills, but surely I would enjoy some of my homeland's dishes again sometime soon. They sadly didn't seem to have been concerned about catering to the Frontier palate, but who am I to blame them? The world church is a big institution, and representing all cuisines might be challenging for even the most adept of cooks", he smiled.

    The pleasantries out of the way, he continued.

    "But that's the thing, I guess. The Church needs to keep in mind its peripheral sheep and shepherds as well. It might well fall unto you to remind it, Cardinal Stewart. From the looks of it, your supporter (you, he thought, but refrained from uttering) might well be one of the kingmakers. Surely you will use your influence to make sure that whoever will be the new Pope will hear the voices of the periphery?"

    As the probing words hang in the room, he waited for a response.
     
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  10. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    "You think yourself a clever man, brother Meyer. That is your greatest weakness."

    Taft wasn't taller than Meyer, physically. But somehow he had managed to look down upon the Eiffelländer cardinal with a haughty expression of tired consternation.

    "I had wanted to speak clearly and directly, you wish to trade sophistries. Do you think winning a battle of wits with me will make you pope? Do you think Strelecki, that barking dog of Trier will?"

    He motioned to Meyer to walk with him, using the change of tone in the environment to change his own tone to become more chatty.

    "Brother Meyer, let me tell you something about my supporters. Let me tell you why they chose to back me. I am beholden to no one. There is no King or Chancellor pulling my strings and backing my campaign. The curiae knows me as an independent candidate and fiercely so. My desire is to free the church from the constraints of secular politics, to give her back her own voice. My supporters will never..." Taft placed sharp emphasis on the word, "never will they accept the next pope to be the chess figure of some European government."

    Once again, Taft turned to look down on Meyer. This time, however, with pity in his glare. "You have been cast into the position of my challenger by Strelecki and his lackeys. In doing so, they have marked you. Marked you as candidate of Trier. No longer does it matter what your beliefs are, what you stand for personally. If elected pope, you will be the Pope of the Eiffelländer monarch. I know enough men in the conclave that would rather spend the rest of their mortal lifes in seclusion than to let this happen.

    Your bid for the papacy is over, Meyer. You just don't know it yet.

    The conclave is at an impasse, deadlocked. I am desiring a way out. So I ask you again: what has Trier offered you? What has Strelecki given you that you in return made yourself acceptable to his masters? I am willing to outbid him. For the good of the church."
     
  11. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    They said that the way they smelled, it was some wonder that the herd stayed hidden. Stewart looked coldly at Cardinal Juun. Can Taft's support really be so well-organized, that it extends even unto whatever Kashtanese village this fellow crawled out of? He smiled as best he could, which was still vaguely crocodilian.

    "Cardinal Juun, you will find no country more loyal to the Church than Gunnland, as the Twentish patriarch learned, long ago, to his chagrin. They may tolerate abominations of all kinds in Trier and Chagny, but we alone among the Gallians continue to enforce the ancient laws of God and man. Some say we sacrifice progress and prosperity to do this, but sacrifice is at the heart of the faith."

    Dull roars distracted them. While still inaudible, it was clear Taft and Meyer were embroiled in a heated argument across the room. The two leading candidates reaming each other out. How unseemly. Stewart looked around for Donnet to complain to, or to see if he could find other natural allies besides the Burgundians, like Lishke and Passos. I shall need to represent more than a faction of one here if I am to "kingmake" someone other than those men shouting over there. He snapped back to attention with Juun.

    "I, too, believe I speak for the periphery, Cardinal Juun. I do not know why Strelecki stood Meyer. Something is rotten in Eiffelland, and if Cardinal Taft is the only alternative..." Stewart looked over at the more menacing of the two cardinals whose faces were almost as red as their scarlet cassocks. "...then he is mine."
     
  12. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Taft placed Meyer in a delicate position. The only thing that Strelecki and the Staatsschutz offered Meyer was to not send him to prison. That was something Taft couldn’t offer. And that was something Meyer couldn’t tell Taft.

    Meyer decided to phrase the train of thought of Strelecki.

    First of all, I don’t think that my chances are so small as you think. There may be a group of Cardinals that will follow you blindly, but that group does not constitute an absolute majority. You will have to find more support than the Cardinals Juun, Stewart and Castelar. Furthermore, there are also quite some Cardinals who consider it a disaster for the Church when you would become the next Pope. The race is still open from my point of view. Sorry, but I won’t accept your offer,” he said.

    Meyer took his bottle of water, took some swallows and put his water bottle back in his cassock. Then he continued to talk.

    You are afraid of a possible influence on the Catholic Church by the Government of Eiffelland. Actually, it is the other way round. The Church has an influence on the Government of Eiffelland. As you may know, the King of Eiffelland has to be crowned by the Bishop, or nowadays the Archbishop, of Weissenfels. When the Archbishop of Weissenfels refuses to crown the Crown-Prince King, Eiffelland does not have a King. And that is what the Government, especially the King, fears: That a future Archbishop of Weissenfels refuses to crown the new King for whichever reason, for instance because the Archbishop considers the new King too liberal. That would not be an issue with Strelecki; he would crown each and every King he is asked to crown. But would that be different with a traditionalist Archbishop of Weissenfels? That is the only issue; nothing else. Believe me, the Government of Eiffelland is not interested in what the Church preaches, as long as it is not violence. The Constitution stipulates freedom of religion in Eiffelland, and especially Chancellor Von Seydewitz will not touch the freedom of religion. The only thing the Eiffellandian Government wants to be sure about, is that Strelecki’s successors will crown the Kings without asking questions. And indeed, that is also Strelecki’s concern. The deal we have, is that I leave him a free hand in Eiffelland, that he proposes his successor as well as all new Bishops and Cardinals in Eiffelland, and that I appoint and create them. For the remainder, I will have a free hand. And that means that I will continue to sail a conservative course. No sex before marriage, no adultery, no abortion, no sodomy and no divorce under my rule. Strelecki wants to rediscuss those dogmata, but they are teachings of God and Christ; we cannot rediscuss them. It is already clear what God meant to say. That is what I want the Church to stand for. And of course also for the fate of the Christians in countries where Christians are oppressed. Regarding that I can follow you to a large extent. Meaning that I am willing to carry out large parts of your agenda, and maybe even with you in an official role.

    While Taft and Meyer were discussing, Strelecki was looking for the Beiran Cardinal Passos and Von Aschenbach for the Pelasgian Patriarch Eleutherius. They also wanted to talk to Cardinal Lishke and the Burgundian Cardinals.
     
  13. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    "A shame, brother Meyer. You have quite literally made a deal with the devil and expect him not to cheat you. All of your goals are my goals too. But I don't feel the need to submit to the interests of the Eiffelländer state to achieve them. I believe you will soon realize that they have made it harder for you to sway the conclave, not easier, as anyone who desires to maintain the moral integrity of the church will find either of our positions on these questions agreeable, but only one of us is willing to truly stand for them.

    I do hope you come around and realize the need to cooperate with me for the future of the church."

    Taft didn't know about the criminal way in which the Eiffelländer state had gained sway over his competitor. Had Meyer confided in Taft, he would have had to suffer through a lengthy monologue on martyrdom, but ultimatively, he would have found an ally, even a friend in Taft. Without this, however, Meyer had bet entirely on winning the papal election, with Taft believing that Meyer was in the pockets of the Strelecki and the Eiffelländer royals. In other words, Taft was determined to prevent Meyer from obtaining his goal.

    "I wish you the best of luck, my brother," Taft grinned magnanimously and left the conversation with Meyer. There was little time left before the second round of voting would start and he had wanted to retreat for a short prayer to prepare himself. In his head, he quietly recalled where every Cardinal stood. His supporters were in line. The Eiffelländers had united to a bloc. If Stewart was to be trusted, he would have to sway the Bourgogneans with his speech and he might achieve victory despite Meyer.
     
  14. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    With each of these men giving their speeches before the first round of voting he grew more and more tired of the politics behind the Holy Church. He constantly thought to himself, 'What ever happened to Christ being first and not the word of man?'

    The thought of even becoming the Pope even crossed his mind, he shrugged it off but the thought of putting Christ back into Christendom put a little warmth back into him. Even if he were to put himself out there to promote himself as Pope he would have to do the one thing he despised, politicize his ideas and goals with the Church. But even with this in mind he decided that if the Lord wills it he shall do as he is commanded, so he prayed once more. To seek the wisdom from Our Lord and Savior, to seek guidance, to seek clarity.
     
  15. Nicosia

    Nicosia Well-Known Member

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    Donnet took a final sip of water before taking the center of the room. He eyed some praying but most were in deep conversation either with their countrymen or fellow Cardinals from other nations. His frown transformed as he tried to see if his presence was noted. The Franciscan brothers began to collect trash as he spoke up- "Brother Cardinals, it is time we move to the next round of speeches. Please take your seats. The floor will open once all have been seated" he said, before turning to find his seat.
     
  16. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    When all the cardinals were seated in the choir, Stewart stood from his chair next to Cardinal Donnet.

    "Venerable Brethren, I am pleased with the range of ideas proposed here, and at the warm reception of the idea of an ecumenical council in the near future. By the grace of God, two of his most able servants have already emerged as clear frontrunners, both bishops of great conviction and impressive vision for the Church, both men who would be worthy successors to His Holiness Pius XII, may perpetual light shine upon him. I propose that we cast ballots for one or the other, and see if we can bring the election of the next Holy Father to a speedy conclusion."

    He sat. In fact, he hoped that neither Taft nor Meyer would come close to a two-thirds majority. He even hoped he would be the ideal compromise candidate. The conclave had been full of surprises: Taft's well-organized support, the liberal eggs that ended up in Meyer's basket. Stewart hoped this would be the end of their surprises, and the beginning of his own.
     
  17. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    Again, Cardinal Taft rose to address the conclave. It was his last chance to sway voters before the second round of voting and hopefully, he could win a solid majority to prevent a third round. With Meyer unwilling to compromise, there was only one group of cardinals left which Taft considered unaligned and whose votes could be decisive: the Bourgogneans.

    "Brothers, by now I believe my positions to be well known amongst you. Several of you have endorsed me for my commitment to an independent papacy and for my desire to have the church wield temporal powers for the benefit of all christendom. I do not wish to waste any further words on that or on my views about the moral integrity of the church. You should not be bored with what you already know well enough about me.

    What I wish to clarify, however, before we cast our ballots for the second time, is my stance vis-a-vis the worldly powers of Europe. It is clear that the spiritual power of the church, the fact that we carry the word of god to the faithful, has always created the desire amongst kings and chancellors to control our church, to place words in our mouth, to wrap strings around us to pull for their benefit. It is why I believe that we need a pope that resists such attempts and rebuilds the independence of the church.

    But there are clearly godly and just rulers, put into their place by the will of god and the duty of the future pope should be to support them as they support christendom. If elected pope, I would seek out those just rulers of European nations to forge new pacts and negotiate new concordates that recognize the independence of the church and the duties of worldly rulers have towards our lord above.

    The best place to start, I believe, will be Bourgogne."

    Initially, Taft had intended to mention Gunnland as well, to throw Stewart a bone. But if he was not won over to Tafts side by now, such a gesture wouldn't either, Taft decided. In fact, the Gunnishman would likely respect Taft more for what he was trying to do in regards to the Bourgognean delegation.

    "I have always experienced Bourgogne as a nation devoted to christ and the long history of the country is a long history of friendship to the holy mother church. We all recall the era of the Holy Tiburan Emperor as one where Bourgognean monarchs were amongst the most loyal servants of the church. With the tendrils of communism having buried themselves deep into Gallia and the hordes of the red jews having settled on the shores of the Sea of Andals for quite a long time now, I hope that a renewed friendship between a resurging Tiburan church and the Bourgognean state can help us put a stop to the violent spread of these satanic forces.

    Throughout the day I had taken the time to talk to many of you and try to convince you of my vision. My Bourgognean brothers, you had been left out thusfar because I felt that you deserve the entirety of my address here, a public commitment to a future where your country and our church forge new, everlasting bonds, where they both commit themselves to the teachings of our lord Jesus Christ. I hope to have your support for this, not just when you cast your ballot, but by actively helping shape this future."

    Taft silently nodded towards the Bourgogneans and left the podium. The three men were quite a varied bunch and surely, at least one of them was a supporter of Meyer. But perhaps all of them could be swayed with a preferential position for their nation amongst christendom. Even if someone like Donnet did not agree with Tafts radicalism and his desire for fundamental changes, the idea of a new Holy Tiburan Emperor ought to make him reconsider. And had he not just promised all of them wealth and power in this newly to be negotiated concordate? Surely the likes of Lagier could be won over by that.

    He had told Meyer that the conclave was locked, that they would have to compromise to get a pope elected. But perhaps Taft was wrong. If he could sway the Bourgogneans, he could win this and then he and his supporters could rebuild a new, glorious church out of the rubbles his predecessor had left him...
     
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  18. Kwisatzar

    Kwisatzar Well-Known Member

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    The gaze he fixed upon Eleutherius was withering. He squinted with one eye, and then proceeded to do the same with the other. A truly menacing gesture.

    "I don't like the look of him," he quipped to no one in particular, loudly and without prompt.

    They spoke too much, these assorted firebrands and rhetoricians. God appreciated a good word or a clever turn of phrase, of course, but these newcomers - these youths! - they were another demon by far. It was exhausting to listen to them prattle, and whine, and debate, and converse, and altogether make far too much of a fuss about something they ought to have already figured out. Rather loudly and midway through Meyer's speech, with an air of brazen disregard for etiquette and decorum wrought of advanced age and senility, Espinoza barked up with a question.

    "What's the wine selection looking like?"

    After knocking back two consecutive glasses, one white and the other red, Espinoza realized far too late that wine would likely not settle well in his long ulcerated stomach. Biting back a murmur of discontent, he wrapped his rheumy and arthritic fingers tight against the sleeve of his nearby aide - beckoning him to cast a vote on his behalf for "the one with the face". There was no further clarification offered on this point, and the elderly cardinal thereafter endeavored to retire for a nap right there in his seat. One would think the man was narcoleptic given how swiftly sleep found him, with his head immediately beginning to loll forward and a steady stream of drool accrue on the rich table beneath him. His aide, of course, was entirely flustered.

    Worst of all was the snoring. Obnoxiously, ear-splittingly loud.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  19. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Strelecki was annoyed by Espinoza’s behaviour. How could someone gulp two glasses of wine in such a way at such an important moment, he thought as the typical Eiffellandian he was. Especially a man of Espinoza’s age should know how to behave, and should understand his responsibilities.
    But he was not annoyed enough to loose control over his Eiffellandian facial mask.

    Taft’s speech didn’t annoy him enough to loose control over his facial expression, either. It did amaze him though. What Taft did, was a genious move. How to react on this? His first thought was to reply with a vicious “so the independence of the Church you envision consists of offering the Church on a silver platter to whichever King or Chancellor you consider Catholic enough; well, then we are in the same situation as in the scenario that Kings and Chancellors try to get the Church into their influence, with the only difference that the Church voluntarily lets itself become the plaything of Kings and Chancellors”. Actually, that was a correct description of what Taft was proposing. He didn’t consider it a wise move to say that in the conclave, however. What if Taft’s proposal really conformed with the ideas of the Burgundian Cardinals?

    He whispered some things into Meyer’s ears. Meyer whispered something back. Then Strelecki whispered something back to Meyer. One more short whisper back, and Meyer rose to adress the Cardinals.

    I completely agree with Cardinal Taft’s warm feelings towards Bourgogne. Indeed, the Burgundians have always been, and will always be, devout followers of the Church. It is also my hope that the faith and devotion of the Burgundians will help us inspire all Tiburan Catholics to lead the world back into God’s hands. Because that is what we need: All the Tiburan Catholics. We need them all. We need to inspire them all. Only then will we be able to let the rulers of Kashtan, Kadikistan, Engellex and the SWR see how wrong the way they chose is, and that there is a way back. We need the Burgundians, but we also need the Gunnishmen, the Beirans, who just freed themselves of the chains of a godless regime, the Venedians, who just opened themselves to the world after ages of isolation, the Kashtanese Christians, who suffer from the worst oppression since the Tiburan Empire before it embraced the real Faith. And of course we need the Pelasgian Catholics. We need to inspire all Catholics in the world. Because the Tiburan Catholic Church is the Church of the world.
     
  20. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Stewart let his mouth drop a little, and rose from his chair to point a knobbly finger at Meyer. This was the last straw. Or at least for now, he needed all of the cardinals to know he would vote Taft on the next ballot. And then, perhaps, his influence might seem greater.

    "I suspect, Cardinal Meyer, that you were misinformed. It is of course Cardinal Passos's prerogative to inform us, but in my private opinion, the Civic Process in Beira was the most high-minded Catholic political experiment of the twentieth century. Villa Flor always accounted for the ancient rights of the Church, and respected the social kingship of Christ proclaimed by our holy father Pope Pius XI. Whether the Partido Azul was successful or not, time may yet tell... but I know this, at least. It was an inspiration to good statesmen in Gunnland."

    He made an agitated gesture with his hands, his gold episcopal ring glinting fiercely in the cool light filtered through stained-glass windows.

    "That's beside the point. Words will not avail us, venerable brethren. Not with the challenges we face. We must do more than inspire. We are shepherds. Cardinals Taft and Juun face wolves. You, Cardinal Meyer, face drought. We must act, act strategically, but act decisively. We face political problems, and like it or not, we are princes of the Church, called to be princes by God. We must lead, as we say in Gunnland, by hook and by crook!"
     
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