The Telegraph reports that one of the leading Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church has claimed that the surprise election of the Pope Francis came about because of a series of supernatural “signs”.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna said he had personally had two “strong signs” that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was “the chosen one” in the run up to the vote.
He said that only divine intervention could explain the speed of which the Argentine Cardinal – who was not amongst those tipped for likely candidates by Vatican experts – was elected.
When speaking to an Anglican conference in London, he also said the Archibishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, had a “strange similarity” to the new Pope.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said the two elections were a “little miracle” and a “sign from the Lord” that the two churches should work towards closer unity.
“It was a tremendous experience of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“We were driven by the Holy Spirit to this man – he was sitting in the last corner of the Sistine Chapel: This man he is the chosen one.”
He added: “I received at least two strong signs: one I can tell, the other was in the Conclave I can’t speak about – but real signs of the Lord giving me indication ‘he is the one’.”
Also, the Cardinal went on to say how just after a special mass before the Conclave he saw some friends of his from Latin America who gave him another “sign”.
He said: “I met them outside the Basilica and I asked: ‘You have the Holy Spirit, can you give me advice for the Conclave that will start in a few hours?’
“And the woman whispered in my ear ‘Bergoglio’, and it hit me really: if these people say Bergoglio, that’s an indication of the Holy Spirit.
“And I’m sure many of us have received similar signs during the Conclave, it wouldn’t have been possible to have this election so soon and so rapidly.”