Cardinals Discussing and Analyzing Church's Situation

Exchanges Views in Preparation for Conclave

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 12, 2005 ( During their meetings before the conclave, the cardinals are exchanging views on the situation of the Church and starting to outline the characteristics they think the next pope must have.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls reported that news in a press statement issued after today’s general congregation of cardinals.

With the conclave due to begin April 18, the cardinals are engaged in «an exchange of ideas on the general situation of the Church in the world and on the Holy See,» said Navarro Valls.

In the conclave of October 1978, such reflection led to the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland, at a time when the Church was confronting a world grappling with the Communist bloc.

Some of the issues now being discussed by the cardinals include evangelization, family, bioethics, social justice, and the role of the pope and the Holy See in a universal Church living in a globalized world.

Cardinals older than 80, who cannot join the conclave, are allowed to attend the general congregations. They are also sworn to secrecy about all matters related to the election of a new pope.

Last Saturday the cardinals decided to grant no further interviews, despite the fact that this prohibition will only be legally normative at the start of the conclave.

In an interview last week with ZENIT, Detroit’s Cardinal Adam Maida said in reference to the cardinals: «I would say I know at least half very well, but there are others I just don’t know. And that’s why it’s important for us to be here … there’ll be a learning curve here with respect to those» we do not know.

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