Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Asian bishop says new pope must rejuvenate Church, world

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 21 - The next pope following
Benedict XVI will be expected to "rejuvenate" the Catholic
Church and the world, says Nithiya Sagayam of the Federation of
Asian Bishops' Conferences.
The Franciscan, who is executive secretary for the
federation's Office for Human Development, says the next pope
should also dabble less in politically loaded issues like
contraception and devote more attention to protesting war and
injustice.
His words, written in an article for the Catholic
Church-run Fides news organization, come more than a week after
Benedict shocked the world by announcing his plans to retire on
February 28, triggering the search for a new pontiff.
When the 117 cardinals gather in conclave in Rome to select
the next leader of the Church, they must look for a man who can
"rejuvenate the world," raise hope, and be a voice that is
"prophetic and merciful," writes Sagayam.
The next pope should also provide the voice of conscience
for world political leaders while strengthening ties to other
religious leaders.
Sagayam warned that the Church has become too focused on
the politics around controversial issues such as same-sex
marriage, contraception and ordination of women, when it should
instead care more for the weakest members of society.
"The world has lost hope in the Church," writes Sagayam.
"But the Church is based on the Gospel...(and must) accept the
cry and anguish of the people, especially the poor and the
marginalized".
The Catholic Church must also begin to take stronger stands
against violence, war, weapons production, discrimination, and
the exploitation of the poor and marginalized, he added.
And that may require a pope chosen from the developing
world rather than Europe or North America, he suggested.
"Today you see signs of vitality in the churches emerging:
no one should be surprised if the pope came from a country in
the developing world," he writes.
"In any case, whatever its origin, the new pope should look
carefully and speak the language of peripheral members of the
Church: Asia, Africa, Latin America".
It remains unclear just when the next pope will be chosen,
as there is no modern precedent for a retiring pontiff.
In general, popes die in office. The last time a pope
retired was some 600 years ago, so rules for the conclave of
cardinals electing the next pope may not apply.
Those rules say cardinals from around the world must gather
15 to 20 days after the pope's departure, which for Benedict XVI
will be next Thursday.
However, some argue that since Benedict gave ample notice
of his retirement plans, cardinals have had time to gather in
Rome and many are already there.
Some reports have suggested the Church may want to
accelerate proceedings in order to have a new pope installed
before Palm Sunday on March 24, so he can preside at the Holy
Week services leading up to Easter.

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