Pray for Cardinals as they elect new Pope, Archbishop of Westminster urges British Catholics
Monday 11 March 2013
Roman Catholic leaders in Britain have called on the faithful to pray for the cardinals gathered in Rome on the eve of the conclave to elect a new pope.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Catholics in England and Wales, said “much” had been made of who will be present at the conclave, including complaints about the absence of a representative from Britain.
But he said all Catholics could contribute by praying for the cardinals taking part in the conclave at a “crucial” moment in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
“We pray for each and every cardinal in his decision taking,” Archbishop Nichols said in a letter distributed to Roman Catholic parishes and schools.
“They are striving to be, first of all, instruments of God, in some ways like pens in the hand of the Lord. We pray for them that they will respond freely and sensitively to the hand that moves them, the mind that directs them.”
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, speaking in Rome, said: “It's not only the cardinals who will be praying, we should pray with them.
“I hope all of you - especially those of you in England and Wales - will be praying for the cardinal electors and the Church at this time.”
Both clerics were speaking as 115 Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world were due to be locked into the Sistine Chapel from tomorrow afternoon for the start of the conclave, with the first balloting due soon afterwards.
No clear frontrunner has emerged to replace 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down at the end of last month, the first pope to do so for nearly 600 years.
The conclave is thought to be facing a choice as to whether to elect a pope from the developing world - either Africa, Asia, or Latin America, or whether to revert to an Italian pope after the reigns of John Paul II, a Pole, and German-born Benedict XVI.
Cardinals frequently mentioned as “papabile” or possible candidates, include Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, Archbishop of Sao Paolo in Brazil, and Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan.
Pre-conclave meetings, or general congregations, held last week have exposed sharp divisions amongst cardinals about the problems facing the Church, according to reports, including the governance of the Roman Catholic curia, the departments which control the 1.2 billion global Catholic Church.
Britain has no representative in the conclave as Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, at 80 years old, is ineligible to cast a vote.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the former leader of Catholics in Scotland, will not be attending the conclave after stepping down last month as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards fellow priests.
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...