The will of God is not yet clear

“The will of God is not entirely clear,” Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George told his congregation on Sunday, and as cardinals, yesterday, had their final day of discussions it still seems there is no clear candidate cardinals can agree on.

The cardinals, yesterday, held their last pre-conclave talks where they have been talking about the qualities needed by the next pope and vetting possible candidates for the post.

Vatican insiders seem to be favouring the ‘reformers candidate’, Milan Archbishop Angelo Scola as in the lead, but without the needed support of two-thirds of the 115 ‘cardinal electors’ .

Odilo Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paolo, Brazil is also supposedly seen as the Roman Curia’s pick and so is also seen as a strong possibility.

The voting process is governed by complete secrecy.

Meeting in ‘general congregations’ for a week now, there is a significant block of cardinals looking for a man who can reform the Roman Curia, the central government of the Catholic Church, which has been beset by the intrigue laid bare in documents leaked by Benedict’s butler last year.

While some see head of the Congregation of Bishops, Canadian Marc Ouellet as the person to implement curial reform, it was the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola who was greeted by a mass of photographers and cameramen when he celebrated mass in the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles on Sunday.

However with reform on the mind of many cardinals, and the United States no longer the only global super-power, talk in Rome also surrounds the possibility of an American Pope.

In recent days, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has emerged as a popular favorite, leading a poll of a half-dozen Vatican experts in the influential daily Corriere della Sera on Saturday, as well as a separate reader poll the paper published online Sunday.

According to Inquirer News, O’Malley’s brown habit, signifying his Capuchin Franciscan order’s simplicity and solidarity with the poor, has helped him stand out. So has his fluency in Spanish and connection with Hispanic communities, lending him an international appeal. And he is recognized as one of the church’s most effective leaders in dealing with clergy sexual abuse.

Another leading US contender is the larger than life, great communicator, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Dolan himself however is dismissing his chances.

Writing via his blog to people in the New York Diocese, he said he’s looking forward to getting home; he’s running out of clean socks.

Early on in the process he was similarly dismissive, saying people who are mentioning his name must be smoking some of that funny smelling tobacco.


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News category: Pope.

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