Skip to comments.Cardinal Dolan: Pope Benedict 'fragile' on last day of papacy (good handling of msm)
Posted on 03/01/2013 4:59:51 AM PST by NYer
Recounting a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in the final hours of his papacy on Thursday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan described a melancholy mood and a tender moment with the “fragile’’ pope.
“I don’t mind telling you it was kind of somber for me,’’ Dolan told Savannah Guthrie in Rome on TODAY Thursday. “I love him very much. He means the world. He’s like the daddy of the family, and to see this gentle, learned, loving, holy man, to see him very fragile, to see him having made what I consider a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving. It was a very tender moment.”
With Benedict’s tenure coming to an end after his surprise abdication on Feb. 11, the focus turns to who will be the next pope. There is no set date for when the conclave of cardinals to choose the next pope will begin, but Dolan said that on Monday, the general congregation of cardinals will begin to determine when the conclave will be held.
“There’s kind of a mixed feeling, if I’m detecting it right,’’ Dolan said. “I’m a rookie. I’ve never participated in a conclave before, so you hear the cardinals say there’s a strong desire to have a new pope as soon as possible. For that to happen in the most prudent, enlightened way, we need some time of prayer, reflection and getting to know each other.’’
Under old church law, the conclave couldn’t start until March 15, but an amendment this week will allow the cardinals to push up the date as long as all 115 electors are in place.
“I’m finding myself on two levels,’’ Dolan said. “First of all is mourning the departure of Pope Benedict and celebrating what’s already I would claim is his great legacy. Only now am I beginning to concentrate on the ‘who’ (of Benedict’s successor). There are some people that come to my mind. You would not be surprised that I don’t feel comfortable sharing them with you.
“I’m not afraid to say that all the cardinals are praying for guidance, beginning to look more closely at other cardinals, and are looking forward to some days of prayer (and) reflection, so that the decision we make will be a good one.”
Dolan, who is the archbishop of New York, did not believe he was a candidate to succeed Pope Benedict, saying his chances were “about the same as me taking A-Rod’s place on third base for the New York Yankees.’’
Pope Benedict’s final day comes three days after Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior made by priests. However, Dolan did not feel Pope Benedict’s abdication was a mistake amid negative headlines for the church.
“I would have such high regard for the Holy Father’s sense of discernment, prayer and decision-making that I would not think it was a mistake,’’ Dolan said. “Look, there’s always been sin, there’s always been scandal, there’s always been some corruption in the members of the church. At a time like this when the church is under such intense scrutiny, those are obviously going to come through. We refer to the church as the mystical body of Christ. There are warts on the mystical body, there are scars, and as St. Augustine says, often the mystical body of Christ limps because the church is in pain. The church is sometimes wounded, and we see that now.”
Interesting statistic: As of yesterday, there were already 3600+ credentialed journalists from 60 nations, speaking 24 languages, in Rome to cover the final days, interregnum and conclave. And more have yet to arrive.
Thanks for posting.
That is interesting, but not too surprising. (About the number of journalists etc)
Here in the US, and perhaps the “West” in general, (ie, Western Europe, to a much lesser extent), it’s almost easy to think of Catholicism as a minority religion but really in most of the world it’s still the predominant form of Christianity. That is, when people in most of the world think of Christianity, they think of the Pope, and the Church in general. So it’s not too surprising there would be such worldwide interest.
Not surprised by what Cardinal Dolan said. Saw a still picture of Pope B16 Emertius and he did not look good.
Yikes! That’s about 30 journalists for each Cardinal in the Conclave!
and it’s spreading fast too :)