Conclave starts 11 March? New Pope to serve until death?

March 4, 2013 by  
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Conclave Starts 11 March?Vatican, March 03, 2013: Cardinals plan to ask the next pope to pledge in his inaugural address that he will serve until his death, unlike Benedict XVI, whose resignation, they believe, has destabilised the Catholic Church, according to a report from The Times in The Australian.

Doubts have emerged about the impact of Benedict’s decision as the cardinals begin a series of meetings, known as general congregations, to discuss the church’s future.

Italian reports suggest some church leaders believe Benedict’s departure has undermined the sacredness of the office. An unnamed cardinal told the Corriere della Sera newspaper it was impossible to abolish the rule that a pope had the right to resign of his own freewill.

“But for the future we need to safeguard the freedom of the church from external influences,” he said, amid fears that a pope could be pressured into stepping down.

On Friday, Benedict said he was “not abandoning the Cross, I am staying in a new way”. This was seen as a response to Polish cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, a former personal secretary to Pope John Paul II, who said of his resignation: “One doesn’t step down from the Cross.”

The cardinals are expected to focus on the spiritual mission many see as the priority for the next pope, bringing Christ’s message to the secular West and developing countries where the number of Catholics is growing.

Other issues include reform of the Vatican bureaucracy that has been hit by a scandal over leaks from Benedict’s office.

Benedict agreed that three cardinals who investigated the “Vatileaks” scandal would give their peers details of their secret report. The Vatican has denied allegations that it reveals a gay network of blackmailers.

Conclave to start March 11, future popes tipped to mirror Benedict

Cardinal George PellWith the papal conclave now set to start next Monday, March 11, reports Vatican Insider, future popes are likely to follow in the footsteps of Benedict XVI, Cardinal George Pell said in an interview, reports the Catholic News Agency.

“I think his pontificate will be typical of pontificates of the future,” said Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, in an interview with EWTN in Rome on Thursday.

“I admire him for the decision that he took, but it does change the situation a little bit,” said Cardinal Pell.

Cardinal Pell reflected on the last Pope’s pontificate and the challenges facing the Church. “The world of the press is very powerful, coming often with quite a different and hostile agenda, but I think the Holy Father answered that challenge and I think he answered it well,” he said.

The cardinal, who travels to Rome frequently, said he knows “just how important it is for us to discern what the Spirit wants us to do and to get it right.”

“When I go into the conclave I’ll be thanking God that I’m not alone in making this decision,” he said. “I will be with 114 of us, all wise cardinals, with an enormous range of experience.”

“Many of them would have been through much tougher times than I ever have,” Cardinal Pell added.

– cathnews

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