The Forgotten ‘October Surprise’ (Part II): Cui Bono?

April 21, 2021 (Steven O’Reilly) – In Part I of “The Forgotten ‘October Surprise’…“, we took a look at an event that may have been intended to influence the outcome of the 2013 conclave. As a brief recap, on the morning of March 12, 2013, the day the conclave in Rome was to begin later that day, Italian anti-mafia police conducted a series of raids around Milan related to an investigation of an Italian politician named Roberto Formigoni. Formigoni was a close friend of the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola. Up until that morning at least, Scola had been a leading papabile, if not the leading papabile. Initial press reports of the raids appears to have sparked negative rumors about Scola among Cardinals, Vaticanisti, and other conclave observers (see The Forgotten ‘October Surprise’ of the 2013 Conclave).

Is this a ‘Whodunnit?’

We do not take up here the guilt or innocence of Formigoni. That is for the Italian courts, and, ultimately, God to judge. But, it is not really a matter of the true guilt or innocence of any one.  As one observer of Italian affairs put it to me recently, it is a “very Italian MO. Use the magistrates to handicap political opponents. They did it to Berlusconi to stop him running in 2018. Now to Salvini…”

Certainly, the timing of the raid recounted in part I is both troubling and suspicious. The news of the raid broke the morning of March 12. With the Cardinals scheduled to enter the conclave later in the afternoon, there would be enough time for damaging word of the raids to spread among them, but little time to contain that damage. Truly, the timing could not have been any worse for Cardinal Scola’s chances in the conclave. Had the raids occurred 24 hours, or even only 12 hours later, the raid would not have had any impact on the conclave whatsoever; the cardinals would have already entered the Sistine Chapel by then.

Had the raids occurred 24-48 hours earlier, there would have been an opportunity for damage control. Media reporting might have better explained that Scola had no mafia ties or connections of any kind, i.e., the sort of details that might have put the minds of concerned Cardinals fearful of even more corruption in the Vatican.  Given the above considerations, at Roma Locuta Est, we cannot help but wonder: were the raids intentionally timed to maximize the damage to Scola’s papal prospects? Certainly, If one were of the mind and in a position of power to plot such a thing, one could not have chosen a better time or messaging to maximize the damage to Scola’s chances.  For example, the raid dovetailed nicely with the plans of one anonymous Cardinal to talk “exhaustively” about Comunione e Liberazione in the conclave, and who thought Scola was too political (see Part One).

As more research continues into the raids of March 12, we do know the Italian Prime Minister at the time was Mario Monti (16 November 2011 – 28 April 2013). As a globalist, Monti [1] would surely have not been pleased with Pope Benedict XVI’s opposition to globalism and globalist causes, nor would he likely be desirous of a potential Scola papacy. Monti had close ties with the Obama administration. For example, Obama’s former campaign strategist and “Senior Advisor to the President” (David Axelrod) arrived in Italy in early 2013 to advise Monti on his re-election effort (see Here). There have also been allegations that Italian officials — when Matteo Renzi was Prime Minister — cooperated with Obama Administration intelligence officials to help launch the “Russia Hoax” which tied up the Trump administration in years of FBI and Special Counsel investigations into false and concocted allegations (see here, and here).[2]  Obama Administration types were more than willing to use law enforcement and intelligence assets to take down a presidential candidate, and then a sitting American president; and we are all aware of the recent stolen presidential election. If they would do this to a president and a U.S. national election, why would they shrink from taking down a pope, or interfering with a conclave (see here)?

Cui Bono?

So, whether it was a plot or just an unhappy coincidence for Cardinal Scola (and ultimately the Church), to whom went the benefit? Cui Bono?

Gerard O’Connell [3]  provided us with the vote tallies from the 2013 conclave (see his book, The Election of Pope Francis). In the first vote on March 12, among those receiving the most votes; Scola received 30 votes, far short of the 50 that various observers, like Corriere della Sera, had projected. In that same vote, Bergoglio received 26 votes, and Ouellet 22.  On the first vote of March 13; Bergoglio received 45 votes to Scola’s 38, and Ouellet’s 24. In the second vote of the day, the top vote-getters were Bergoglio (56), Scola (41), and Ouellet (14). And it was here that Scola’s support reached its high water mark, never to draw any closer to Scola’s predicted voting base (50). In the third vote of March 13th, Scola’s tally fell to 32, and Ouellet’s to 13; while Bergoglio now achieved 67 votes. Then in the final vote of the day and of the conclave that gave Bergoglio the papacy, the tallies were Bergoglio (85), Scola (20), and Ouellet (8). Clearly, support grew steadily stronger for Bergoglio with each vote. In contrast, Scola only added 11 votes to his initial tally before his support melted away.

Now, with the above in mind, returning to the question we asked at the beginning of this section.  Cui Bono? Undoubtedly, it was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, SJ.

Final Thoughts

The raid, certainly on its face, appears to have been an orchestrated attempt to interfere with the conclave, the timing and the messaging that followed are just too coincidental. In addition to this, we have already seen in our prior treatment of McCarrick’s “influential Italian gentleman” that there may have been attempts by two laymen to “influence” Cardinals and or the conclave as well, and potentially with the knowledge of Cardinal Bergoglio (see The Conclave Chronicles).  For example, Bergoglio was the recipient, fortuitously, of glowing press treatment by an Italian Vaticanista — a couple days after dining with him on the night he arrived in Rome. Further, we know the “influential Italian gentleman” lobbied McCarrick to “talk up Bergoglio,” and we know why McCarrick’s support would be vital (e.g. see The “Influential Italian Gentleman” and The Influential Italian Gentleman: McCarrick “touted the praises” of Bergoglio Prior to the Conclave). Finally, we know McCarrick seemingly admitted to another prelate on the day of Bergoglio’s election that he and others had campaigned for that result (see McCarrick on Bergoglio’s Election: “We did it!”).  Indeed, Bergoglio seems to have been the happy beneficiary of a number of coincidences which tended toward his election. But when one sees a growing number of coincidences that skew one way, one must wonder if what one is seeing is not, instead, a pattern.  After all, “there are no coincidences.”[4]

Did the St. Gallen mafia, and potential allies in the Italian government (and others?) leave nothing to chance in hopes of electing as pope a certain globalist friendly cardinal, i.e., Cardinal Bergoglio, by dirtying up and kneecapping his leading contender?  Did certain individuals, and or governments have a hand with certain cardinals, such as those in the St. Gallen mafia, in trying to interfere with, and to shape, and influence the outcome of the conclave. If so, this would be an obvious violation of the rules governing a conclave which prohibits outside influence, and cooperation of Cardinals with it. For example, in Universi Dominici Gregis, John Paul II declared (emphasis added):

80. In the same way, I wish to confirm the provisions made by my Predecessors for the purpose of excluding any external interference in the election of the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, in virtue of holy obedience and under pain of excommunication latae sententiae, I again forbid each and every Cardinal elector, present and future, as also the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and all other persons taking part in the preparation and carrying out of everything necessary for the election, to accept under any pretext whatsoever, from any civil authority whatsoever, the task of proposing the veto or the so-called exclusiva, even under the guise of a simple desire, or to reveal such either to the entire electoral body assembled together or to individual electors, in writing or by word of mouth, either directly and personally or indirectly and through others, both before the election begins and for its duration. I intend this prohibition to include all possible forms of interference, opposition and suggestion whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree, or any individual or group, might attempt to exercise influence on the election of the Pope.

(Source:  Universi Dominici Gregis, 80)

As said at the outset in Part I, Roma Locuta Est‘s primary interest in the curious events surrounding the conclave has been primarily historical. However, enough important questions have been raised for “good guy” Cardinals to form an informal “commission” of sorts to actively collect these and additional facts, as well as testimony. For starters, such a “commission” might demand to speak with Theodore McCarrick; asking him the questions the McCarrick Report investigators did not about the conclave of 2013 (see Glaring Omission in McCarrick Report: What about the “Influential Italian Gentleman?”). While overturning a papal election with proofs of grave UDG violations may be a tall order, if not an impossible one to fill; these questions must be looked into and adjudicated. At a minimum, if nothing else, a closer look at the events surrounding the 2013 conclave is necessary to both ensure and be on guard against any such shenanigans in the future — so that they do not influence a future conclave, such as the next one.

At this moment, certainly, we don’t have the proverbial “smoking gun.” Yet, there may be someone or ‘someones’ out there who do, or who know where the (also) proverbial “bodies are buried” — or who can just simply provide additional pieces of the puzzle. But…if someone is out there who has some relevant information of value…please feel to contact Roma Locuta Est (contact info below).

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at  or (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on Parler or Gab: @StevenOReilly).


  1. As a curious aside, Monti became president of Civic Choice, an Italian political party, in May of 2013, succeeding Andrea Riccardi. During Monti’s term, Riccardi served as Italian Minister for International cooperation and Integration. Regular readers will recognize Riccardi’s name as being one of the potential candidate who fits the description of McCarrick’s “influential Italian gentleman” (see The “Influential Italian Gentleman”: A Sant’Egidio Connection?). Also, curiously, Riccardi appears to have had some connection with John Podesta (see Six Degrees of the “Influential Italian Gentleman”?).  Riccardi is self-described “Bergoglian.”
  2. In view of such ties and allegations of links between the Obama Administration and certain Italian administrations, we recall the open letter addressed to former President Trump published in the Remnant Newspaper (see A Vatican-Democratic Party Alliance? (Catholics Ask Trump Administration to Investigate). In their letter to President Trump, the letter’s signatories stated in part:

    “We were alarmed to discover that, during the third year of the first term of the Obama administration your previous opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other government officials with whom she associated proposed a Catholic “revolution” in which the final demise of what was left of the Catholic Church in America would be realized.[1]  Approximately a year after this e-mail discussion, which was never intended to be made public, we find that Pope Benedict XVI abdicated under highly unusual circumstances and was replaced by a pope whose apparent mission is to provide a spiritual component to the radical ideological agenda of the international left. [2] The Pontificate of Pope Francis has subsequently called into question its own legitimacy on a multitude of occasions. [3]”

    Among the questions posed in this open letter were: “To what end was the National Security Agency monitoring the conclave that elected Pope Francis?” and “What other covert operations were carried out by US government operatives concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict or the conclave that elected Pope Francis?”

  3. O’Connell apparently has excellent pro-Bergoglian sources in the College of Cardinals.  The goings on in the conclave should have been kept a secret.  This would not be the first time a Cardinal apparent violated his UDG oath, and provided O’Connell information (see 2013 Conclave: Was there a violation of Universi Dominici Gregis 12? ).
  4. For those interested in this topic, we suggest you take a look at our article, The “we” in “We did it!” — and what they did as it outlines a series of coincidences redounding to Cardinal Bergoglio’s benefit, the attempts to undermine Benedict’s pontificate by the St. Gallen mafia, as well as to engineer Bergoglio’s election.

3 thoughts on “The Forgotten ‘October Surprise’ (Part II): Cui Bono?

    1. KJT, thanks for the comment. I didn’t see any indication of his involvement here; though, who knows, he may have been part of the echo chamber in the hours before the vote-eligible cardinals went into the conclave later in the afternoon.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s