By Jane Nambi
Italian bishops thanked God for the wrong pope, despite Pope Francis being announced as the next Catholic Pope becoming the 266th pope.
The bishops just wanted their own bishop from Milan to be crowned as the pope to the extent that when it was announced that a pope had been elected, they thanked God and sent a congratulatory message to the media for their prelate’s election.
The secretary-general of the Italian conference, Monsignor Mariano Crociata, expressed “joy and thanks” to God for the election of Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in a statement sent to reporters at 8:23 p.m. (3:23 p.m. ET) on Wednesday night. Ten minutes before that, Bergoglio had made his first appearance before the crowds in St. Peter’s Square as Pope Francis.
At 9:08 p.m. (4:08 p.m. ET), the Italian bishops conference sent another statement thanking God for the election of the pope, with the correct name. Many Italian newspapers openly promoted Scola as the next pope.