‘Pope gave sufficient hints on resignation’ - The New Indian Express

‘Pope gave sufficient hints on resignation’

Published: 12th February 2013 12:28 PM

Last Updated: 12th February 2013 12:28 PM

Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church said that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI did not come as a surprise, as the prelate had given sufficient hints on his resignation plans.

George Alencherry was speaking to reporters here on Monday. “During an interactive session, he gave hints to theology students that they might not be able to meet him in the future in a similar role. This response came to be regarded as an indication that he would step down soon,” he said.

The date of the next conclave has not been fixed yet and would be decided by Tarcisio Bertone, Camerlengo (Chamberlain) of the Holy Roman Church. “The prelate’s physical ailments might have been restricting his mobility, but his thoughts were clear as usual,” the cardinal said. He noted that the Pope always nurtured a respect for the Oriental Church. “The installation of Baselious Mar Cleemis as a cardinal showed his love for the Oriental Church.”  Alencherry said that he got an opportunity to get acquainted with the Pope after he became the Cardinal.

To a query on the possibility of the election of any cardinal from India as the next Pope, he said that nationality was never a concern, but what mattered was the ability to rise according to the existing situations.  “Ability would be a potential factor as the Pope would have to make key decisions on many international issues.”

Four cardinals, including Cardinal Alencherry, Cardinal Baselious Mar Cleemis, Bombay Arch Bishop and the Ranchi Archbishop, have chances to be considered for the post from India. No other pope has resigned from the post in the past 500 years.

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