Labor’s scrambling to point out that Pope Benedict XVI “supports” card check:
Labor groups said the Roman Catholic Church leader’s new encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”), released this week “supports the principles of [EFCA].”
Of course labor bosses aren’t in a hurry to tell people that Pope Benedict did not say anything about eliminating the secret ballot, and for good reason: the College of Cardinals famously elects the Pope through secret ballot. EFCA, as we all know, effectively eliminates the secret ballot for workers.
I did a quick search to find out exactly how secret ballot elections work in the Vatican:
The pope is elected by write-in vote on a secret ballot. Each cardinal is given a small rectangular ballot with the Latin words Eligo in Summum Pontificem, “I elect as supreme pontiff,” printed at the top. He silently indicates his vote by writing a person’s name with a pen below those words.
After writing his vote, the cardinal folds the ballot twice, holds it in the air, and carries it to the Sistine Chapel’s altar. He declares aloud, “I call as my witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who before God I think should be elected.” He places his ballot on a paten (plate) that is resting on a chalice (cup), then uses the plate to drop the ballot into the chalice. He bows before the altar, then returns to his seat. The use of the paten and chalice for this purpose is significant in two ways: they are the vessels used to serve the sacred bread and wine in Mass and using the plate makes it hard for a cardinal to cast more than one ballot.
Maybe the unions will convince Dan Brown in his next thriller to write about how big business conspires to intimidate and harass the cardinals before they vote.