SA cardinal: Next pope needs wisdom

2013-02-14 13:33

Vatican City - South African Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, seen as a possible successor to Pope Benedict XVI, said the Church was in a "profound crisis" and needed a new pope to implement "spiritual renewal".

The 71-year-old also predicted next month's conclave of cardinals in the Sistine Chapel would last longer than the last one which took just two days, speaking in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa published on Thursday.

"We can come out of this profound crisis with a strong spiritual renewal like the one of St Francis who implemented a moral reform," Napier said.

Napier said he would not rate candidates to succeed to Benedict based on where they came from but indicated that the "balance" in the Church had shifted to the southern hemisphere, where the majority of Catholics now live.

"The determining factor is he must have the wisdom and energy to confront the challenges that await the Church in every corner of the globe," he said.

"Church institutions should help evangelisation, not slow it down. Too often we give an impression to the outside world of confrontations and careerism rather than serving the faithful," he said.

"People and young people in particular are waiting for words of truth from the church.... On sexuality and ethics there is a strong need for sense. We need a dialogue of truth," he added.

Asked about the conclave, Napier said: "I don't think the white smoke will come so quickly this time around" - a reference to the symbolic puffs of smoke that indicate a new pope has been chosen.

  • King Vincent Rantsane - 2013-02-14 14:25

    does anyone honestly think the vetican will appoint a black pope? honestly

      francoisjacques.malan - 2013-02-14 14:49

      They appointed a Polish not so long ago, not everyone is as prejudiced toward race as we are in SA

      King Vincent Rantsane - 2013-02-14 17:46

      was it a black Polish?

  • Michael Hawthorne - 2013-02-14 14:58

    a wise pope would turn the vatican into the playboy mansion...

  • Michael Hawthorne - 2013-02-14 14:59

    a wise pope would turn the vatican into the playboy mansion... however their idea of playboy is completely differeny to that of Hugh Hefner

  • King Vincent Rantsane - 2013-02-14 17:45

    was it a black Polish?

  • rory.n.price - 2013-02-14 18:37

    Thankfully Jayzee is not Catholic, wisdom lacking somewhat

  • ralph.thornley - 2013-02-14 19:32

    I just hope the next pope is a Presbyterian.

      jeremy.neves.3 - 2013-03-12 15:42

      I believe only baptised Catholic males are eligible to be elected Pope.

  • vincent.surics - 2013-02-15 07:20

    "The next Pope needs wisdom" - what does that infer about the present one?

  • dcnpv - 2013-03-05 15:10

    Wisdom...yes. But also have the courage and foresight to lead the faithful forward in a world that is devastated by immoral living standards.

  • Mokeu Lesley - 2013-04-12 16:21

    Please don't make a catholic church a toboo. one pope ata time

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