Cardinal Ruini Calls for a Bold Church, as Pope Wished

Requests Prayers for Election of John Paul II’s Successor

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 11, 2005 ( Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar of the Rome Diocese, called for a Church as John Paul II wished: not «timid,» but burning with love for Christ and for every person.

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference made his appeal Sunday during the homily at the Mass for the repose of the Pope’s soul, concelebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica with the clergy of Rome.

The basilica was brimming with faithful. Others had to follow the Mass from St. Peter’s Square, enduring rain.

Cardinal Ruini recalled the Pope’s words «on the parish and the Church, which must seek and find themselves outside of themselves, where people live.»

«This is the Church he wanted and which today he continues to ask us to be and live: a Church that is not shut-in on itself, which is not timid, distrustful, but a Church that burns with love for Christ and the salvation of everyone,» he added.

«In his suffering and death, just as throughout his life, John Paul II was an extraordinarily effective witness and herald of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead, like the Apostles Peter and Paul, from whom he received the great Christian and human heritage,» the cardinal said.

Because of this, «the days of his funeral rites became for Rome and for the whole world days of extraordinary unity, of the soul’s openness to God and of reconciliation,» Cardinal Ruini added.

«In this way, the Mass for the deceased Pope in St. Peter’s Square was … a particularly eloquent symbol not of the ‘clash of civilizations,’ but rather of the great ‘family of nations,'» he said.

Lastly, Cardinal Ruini encouraged the faithful to await the election of a new pope in an atmosphere of prayer.

«Let us not be, vainly, too curious to know ahead of time who he will be,» the 74-year-old cardinal said. «On the contrary, let us dispose ourselves in prayer, trust and love to the one the Lord wishes to give us.»

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