Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Cardinals talk, discuss

Cardinals meet, talk, discuss and pray
This is a very interesting time for the 115 Cardinals who will decide who will be the next Pope. Even those over 80 are meeting together in the Vatican to talk, discuss and pray before their important conclave. Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, Canada described the atmosphere of what is about to happen over the next few days in the Vatican: “In the whole process there is a great deal that is very human. Discussion, in fact, is required. It’s part of the rule of the Conclave you must have time to discuss things, think things through. But at the same time it’s Divine. There is the praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we make this choice. There are these two dimensions which go together, like faith and reason. The Cardinals who are working together with the Holy Father in Rome, they meet one another all the time and so are very familiar with the different issues they are dealing with. The Cardinals who, like myself, are responsible for dioceses around the world, which is the majority of the voting cardinals, we are not in Rome that often – we do have to go to various meetings – but most of our responsibilities is to care for the people entrusted to our care in our own dioceses. So I think one of our chief responsibilities is to be very conscious of the needs of the Universal Church and also to get to know the other cardinals, we don’t always have an opportunity to do that and so these days before the Conclave but after the See is vacant is a tremendous opportunity for all the cardinals to discuss the issues with one another, to get to know one another better and therefore to be better prepared for the moment when those who are cardinal electors enter into the Conclave.  
A collage of the Cardinal electors, as appeared in NY Times
I think that my concern will be to listen to the cardinals from around the world. I think that in the Western part of the world, North America and Europe and so on, the issue of secularism is very important. But in other parts of the world it is not so important, there are other issues, persecution, social justice issues, many others…so I think as each cardinal speaks from his own perspective all of us will begin to get a broader picture of the whole concern that people have. Because the Holy Father has to be responsible for the whole world, and therefore sometimes, each cardinal coming from his own perspective will think certain things are very important, others not so much, whereas it’s the reverse with other cardinals, so it’s important to get the whole picture and I think that’s what we’ll do.”

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