A document in my hands shows that even cardinals receive grades like in a school. I received it from theologian Ferdinand Klostermann, who died in 1982. I am talking about seven photocopies dated August 28, 1974. They were typed in French lacking letterhead and signature. The text is about the upcoming conclave, its modification and the tendencies of eligible cardinals. The names of the possible Popes are underlined in nota bene followed by the other 107 then conclave participants.
The gradings are as follows: 1-Extremely tied to tradition; 2- Tied to tradition; 3- Relatively open but respectful; 4- Opportunist, he can switch from one tendency to another; 5- Rather inclined to new tendencies; 6- Clearly inclined to new tendencies. The document also includes the names of cardinals near the 80-year fateful age limit that excludes them from the conclave - it was then the case of 72 of them. The reflections of the Vatican diplomats about the nature of probable coalitions in the following conclave are better understood. The choice of tendencies 3 and 4 is decisive if they join tendencies 1 and 2. The naming is planned beforehand: tendencies 1 and 2 are needed and Karol Wojtila was in number 1.
The document does not specify the meaning of “tradition” or “new tendencies”. The 160 papal nuncios were educated in the most ancient European diplomacy; they know what it is all about and they are discreet in this respect. The speech about the future of the church is only an illusion. The new captain’s agenda was designed a long time ago.

Die Presse (Austria)

Die Benotung der Kardinäle”, by Adolf Holl, Die Presse, April 18, 2005.